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Bryan Allen: Mr. Offense ... Radek Dvorak Gets Franchise Record ... Panthers vs. Minnesota Russos on Friday

Bryanalleen Bryan Allen isn't exactly the Panthers secret weapon, but after scoring two goals with three assists in the past four games, Allen is enjoying the spotlight just a little bit.

“I've never been one for offense but it feels real good to be able to contribute,'' Florida's veteran defenseman said with a grin. “Sometimes these things come in bunches.''

Allen has not been one to be considered an offensive player during his 10-year NHL career, and his three assists in the win against Carolina last week was a career-high in points.

A strong shutdown defender, Allen has been counted on by the Panthers to help solidify Florida's defensive play – one that is much improved over the past couple of years. Shots against are down considerably – and, not surprisingly, so are goals scored against the Panthers.

Offense, however, remains a problem with the Panthers. So getting goals from an unlikely source like Allen is welcomed.

“We talked about how our defense is going to have to help our offense. When I said that, Bryan Allen's name wasn't the first to come to mind,'' coach Pete DeBoer said. “To his credit, he's shown his versatility. He's tough to play against. He's physical, but it's nice to see him add to things on the other end.''

Allen's goal on Wednesday against the Maple Leafs was a simple slapshot off a puck that all but landed on the tape of Allen's stick. Goalie Jonas Gustavsson went to clear the puck and fired it toward the side boards; it bounded off right to Allen who pulled back and fired. The puck zipped past Gustavsson and the Panthers had a 1-0 lead. Perhaps had Allen not been creating chances in the offensive zone as he has of late, he may have passed on the shot and sent it another direction.

“Maybe this has given me more confidence with the puck,'' Allen said. “Maybe I'm shooting more. I think a lot of this is timing and the chances I'm getting, it's going on. I'm getting opportunities. The key to our team is we don't have one or two guys to totally count on. We all have to chip in.''


Radek Dvorak will become the Panthers' all-time leader in games played Friday when Florida plays host to the Wild. Dvorak spent five seasons with the Panthers before being traded to the Rangers in 2000. He returned as a free agent in 2007 and is in the final season of a two-year deal signed in 2009.

Dvorak will play in his 574th game in a Panthers sweater, eclipsing Robert Svehla (1994-2002). Stephen Weiss, who has also spent nine seasons with the team, is eighth on the all-time games played list but moving up fast. At 493 games played, he sits just 13 behind Billy Lindsay for seventh and can move up to fourth if he stays healthy this season.

“This means a lot to me. It's something special,'' Dvorak said. “I've been with this organization since 1995 and it seems like it was yesterday. I have a lot of great memories and I hope to put a lot more games up on the board. [Svehla] is a legend here, one of the best defensemen in franchise history. He's my friend and passing him is special. It'll be nice to win tomorrow and celebrate this thing with a win.''

The Panthers will honor Dvorak with a pregame ceremony at their next home game on Nov. 22 against Pittsburgh.

-- Winger Cory Stillman (shoulder) and defenseman Jason Garrison (groin) practiced on Thursday and could play this weekend.

-- To commemorate Veterans Day, the Panthers will welcome Navy crew members of the USS Jason Dunham on Friday. The crew will attend the game and drop the ceremonial puck.

When/Where: 7:30 p.m.; BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise
TV/Radio: FSNF; 560-WQAM
The series: Minnesota leads 7-2-1
The game: The Wild had won three straight going into Thursday's game in Atlanta and are 1-2 in the second game of a back-to-back series. Minnesota is expected to start Jose Theodore (1-1-0) in net. Before beating the Wild in St. Paul last season, Florida had not defeated the Wild since its expansion season in 2001. That is also the last time the Panthers have beaten the Wild in Sunrise. Florida has won two of three.