Four of the top five teams in the country kicked off their games at noon Eastern on Saturday, which suggests that all were expected to roll. No. 2 Clemson, No. 4 Penn State and No. 5 Georgia all did just that. Then there was No. 3 Oklahoma. The Sooners and Iowa State provided some early drama and the first really big upset of the season. Then No. 13 Miami and Florida State played another classic, with the Hurricanes finally getting some…
Jared McCann scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period after a review overturned the initial ruling of goalie interference, and the Florida Panthers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4 on Saturday night. Evgenii Dadonov and Nick Bjugstad each had a goal and an assist, and Vincent Trocheck and Colton Sceviour also scored goals for the Panthers. James Reimer made 26 saves.
Coming into Saturday’s game between 13th-ranked Miami and Florida State, both teams were looking to get their running games going. The Seminoles did have their best rushing game of the year, but it was not enough to keep the Hurricanes from earning a last-second 24-20 victory, breaking a 7-game losing streak against Florida State.
Danny Etling threw a short touchdown pass in the second half and LSU rebounded from a stunning home loss with a 17-16 victory at No. 21 Florida on Saturday. The Tigers (4-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) moved the ball well early with jet sweeps and then pounded it between the tackles late, doing just enough to upend the Gators (3-2, 3-1).
The running game has been an important factor in the Miami-Florida State series. In the past 30 meetings between the Sunshine State rivals, the team with the most rushing yards has won 22 times. It will likely be a determining factor again on Saturday when the 13th-ranked Hurricanes visit the Seminoles.
Steven Stamkos is back. Stamkos set up the go-ahead goal in his return from a right knee injury and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Florida Panthers 5-3 on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
It all begins for real tonight at Amalie Arena. The Tampa Bay Lightning open the 2017-18 season against the Florida Panthers, the first of four meetings between the two teams. For the Lightning, they seek a return to the playoffs after missing the post season by a single point last year. If they can avoid significant injuries to key players, always a big “if,” they have every reason to expect to be playing hockey well into the spring.