Brian Campbell: ‘Wanted To Play Hard For Louie’

The Florida Panthers beat the Flames, 6-5, in Calgary on Friday, thanks to a late third-period goal by Tomas Fleischmann. Florida defenseman Brian Campbell gave the Panthers a 5-4 lead before Calgary’s Matt Stajan knotted the game at 5.

Florida (19-11-9) has now won two straight and three of four – all on the road.

“They’re big games for us obviously,” Campbell said on Ferrall on the Bench. “It’s always fun coming out to Western Canada and winning hockey games. It would have been nice if mine had stood up for the game-winner, but it was back and forth and Fleischmann came through. It was great.”

Six different Panthers scored against Edmonton, including Jonathan Huberdeau, Brad Boyes, Sean Bergenheim and Jimmy Hayes.

The Panthers beat Vancouver, 3-1, on Thursday before taking down Calgary on Friday. Roberto Luongo, 35, started against Vancouver, the franchise for which he played from 2006 to 2014.

“The tribute during the game was awesome,” Campbell said. “It kinds of sends shivers down you. We wanted to play hard for Louie. They ended up scoring the first goal, but then we picked it up and got it going, so good for him. He deserved all the credit from the fans. It was good to see the reaction from them.”

Florida has two games left on its current road trip – at Edmonton on Sunday and at Winnipeg on Tuesday – before heading home for five games against Colorado, Edmonton, Vancouver, Detroit and Columbus.

Edmonton (10-23-9) has had an awful season but is 3-3 in last six games – this after losing nine straight.

“They’re a dangerous little team right now,” Campbell said. “They’ve been struggling so much that they don’t really have anything to worry about. They just go out and play hockey. I think the playoffs aren’t in it for them. You never know what you’re going to get from them. That’s why they’re dangerous. It’ll be fun to get there Sunday night, play and hopefully we can come out with another strong effort. Louie will be back in the pipes and we can go from there.”

Florida is fifth in the Eastern Conference Atlantic standings, just a few points behind Boston (22-15-6) and Detroit (22-10-9). Tampa Bay (27-12-4) leads the Atlantic, while the Islanders (27-13-1) lead the Metropolitan.

“I feel like we’re competitive every night,” Campbell said. “Usually our games are tight and entertaining. I feel like we’re in every game. With the stuff that Dale Tallon (has) done this year to help us out from last year and obviously the coaching with Gerard Gallant, it’s made a huge difference. I feel like we’re all on the same page and we’re not thinking too much. We’re reacting and playing so it’s been a lot of fun finally. Hopefully there’s bright days ahead.”

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