It was the first pre-season loss for the Blackhawks (6-1-0) and the second win for the Panthers (2-5-1).
Nikolai Khabibulin made 44 saves for Chicago. After scoring two goals in the first 6:30, Chicago didn’t score again until 9:44 of the third when Bryan Smolinski’s shot from the left circle beat the 41-year-old Belfour. The Blackhawks only managed to get 22 shots on goal.
Martin Gelinas took a pass from Chris Gratton in front of the crease and pushed the puck past Khabibulin to make the score 6-2 at 15:11 of the second.
Kolnik’s second goal of the game had put Florida ahead 3-2 early in the second period. About three minutes later, Jozef Stumpel and Nathan Horton each scored power-play goals less than 30 seconds apart to stretch the Florida lead to 5-2.
Trailing 2-0, the Panthers tied the game in the first. Gregory Campbell scored the Panthers’ first goal at 11:59. Kolnik got a turnover and his shot from in front beat Khabibulin on the glove side at 15:23.
Chicago scored twice in the first period. Tony Salmelainen’s shot from the slot got past Belfour on the stick side at 6:28. Michael Blunden poked in the puck from the right side of the crease at 3:16.