A Blog By Steve Goldstein Twitter: @goldieonice

SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – It was a great home opener for the Florida Panthers Friday.

In front of more than 18,000 fans, the Cats beat Sidney Crosby and the Penguins 6-3. Eighteen-year-old Alexsander Barkov and 20-year-old Jonathan Huberdeau had big games, showing what the team has in store for the future.

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The Panthers also got a 4 point night from Tomas Fleischman. This game carried more importance than just a home opener and 5th game on an 82 game schedule.

Steve Goldstein with Billy Lindsay and original Panthers Captain Brian Skrudland in the FoxSportsFlorida booth at home opener

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Twenty-four hours earlier the Panthers were dominated in Tampa, losing 7-2. It was their 3rd loss in a row and things seemed bleak. But with renewed energy and enthusiasm, this Friday night homecoming was just what the doctor ordered. Now at 2-3 on the season, the LA Kings come calling for a Sunday matinee at 3pm—let’s see if the Panthers can bring that passion and energy again and get back to 500.

The BB&T Center also unveiled its new 4 million dollar high definition scoreboard—which looked stellar and certainly enhanced the fan experience. Also impressive, the Panthers players going outside the front doors after the  game meeting and signing autographs for fans. More nights like this one and South Florida will stand up and take notice of the Panthers.

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SLIDESHOW: See shots from the Panthers vs. Penguins game at BB&T Center.