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Dolphins star CB Xavien Howard requests to be traded after reporting for first day of training camp

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Xavien Howard showed up for work Tuesday morning strictly to avoid the NFL’s $50,000 a day fine players are now subjected to for holding out.

But that doesn’t mean his issues with the Miami Dolphins are over.

“I’m just here so I don’t get fined,” Howard wrote in a statement on social media Tuesday night about his contract dispute, which motivated him to skip the offseason program and the mandatory minicamp in June.

Read more from the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

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State Champions: Florida Panthers take out Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-1, in Sunshine State showdown

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TAMPA, Fla. — Aleksander Barkov scored the go-ahead goal 3:40 into the third period and the Florida Panthers won their third straight game by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-1, on Tuesday night.

Barkov slammed a loose puck in the crease past Andrei Vasilevskiy for his second of the season. It came 1:04 after the Lightning tied it 1-all on Brayden Point’s goal.

“They tied the game up and when we score right away, it feels like we never lost the lead,” Barkov said.

Florida also got goals from defenseman Brandon Montour, Anton Lundell and Anthony Duclair. Sam Reinhart had two assists and rookie goalie Spencer Knight made 30 saves in his first start this season for the Panthers, who are 3-0-0 for the second straight season.

Prior to 2020-21, the Panthers had not started a season with three straight wins since entering the NHL in 1993.

“I think we played pretty well with the lead,” Barkov said. “I know they got their chances, but our (penalty kill), our defense, our goalie played outstanding. That’s why we won.”

Knight, drafted 13th overall by Florida in 2019, has won all five of his regular-season appearances. He was 1-1 against the Lightning in the first round of last season’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

“He was great. Patient,” Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said. “Challenged at the right time, takes away a lot of the net.”

Vasilevskiy made 28 saves in his fourth consecutive start for the Lightning, who were coming off back-to-back overtime wins after a 6-3 loss to Pittsburgh on opening night.

“We had our chances,” coach Jon Cooper said. “They didn’t go in for us tonight, but we had a lot of good chances. We’ll be all right.”

Montour gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead at 6:12 of the second, beating Vasilevskiy with a wrist shot from near the right faceoff dot for his first of the season. Point tied it 2:36 into the third when his slap shot from the high slot ticked the stick of Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar and zipped past Knight.

Lundell gave Florida a two-goal lead when he beat Vasilevskiy with 6:41 remaining for his first NHL goal in his third game. Duclair scored for the third straight game when he hit the empty net with 2:06 left.

The Lightning played without forward Nikita Kucherov, who sustained a lower-body injury during Tampa Bay’s 2-1 overtime victory against the Washington Capitals on Saturday. Cooper said Tuesday he expects Kucherov to return before the end of the season.

Kucherov missed the 2020-21 regular season following hip surgery but returned to lead the Lightning with 32 points in 23 games to help them repeat as Stanley Cup champions.

His absence was especially notable on the power play, as the Lightning went 0 for 6 and failed to convert on a 5-on-3 advantage that lasted 1:34 in the first period.

“We’re missing one of the best half-wall guys in the league,” Point said. “We have to simplify things and get pucks to the net.”

SLOW STARTS

The Lightning have allowed the first goal in all four of their games. They have yet to score a first-period goal and have not led at any point during regulation.

FAST STARTS

Knight is the 11th goalie in NHL history to win his first five regular-season decisions. Bob Froese of the 1982-83 Philadelphia Flyers and Martin Jones of the 2013-14 Los Angeles Kings share the record with eight in a row.

POWER OUTAGE

Florida was 0 for 3 on the power play and is 0 for 10 in its three wins.

UP NEXT

Panthers: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.

Lightning: Have three days off before hosting Colorado on Saturday night.

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Battle of the Sunshine State: Florida Panthers head on the road for first round of state championship against Tampa Bay Lightning

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Florida Panthers (2-0-0, first in the Atlantic) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (2-1-0, fifth in the Atlantic)

Tampa, Florida; Tuesday, 7 p.m. EDT

LINE: Lightning -139, Panthers +115

BOTTOM LINE: The Tampa Bay Lightning host Florida after Sam Bennett scored three goals in the Panthers’ 5-1 victory over the Islanders.

Tampa Bay finished 36-17-3 overall during the 2020-21 season while going 21-7-0 at home. The Lightning averaged 4.2 penalties and 10.7 penalty minutes per game.

Florida finished 37-14-5 overall and 17-9-2 on the road a season ago. The Panthers recorded 311 assists on 188 total goals last season.

The matchup Tuesday is the first meeting of the season between the two teams.

INJURIES:

Lightning: Zach Bogosian: out (lower-body), Nikita Kucherov: day to day (undisclosed).

Panthers: None listed.

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NHL hands San Jose Sharks’ Evander Kane 21-game suspension for submitting fake COVID-19 vaccine card

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Another week, another Evander Kane update.

On Monday, the NHL announced that Kane has been suspended for 21 games “for an established violation of, and lack of compliance with, the NHL/NHLPA COVID-19 Protocol.”

Kane will not receive any pay while suspended.

On Oct. 6, a report from Front Office Sports revealed that Kane submitted a fake vaccination card to the league and the San Jose Sharks, which is an illegal offense in both Canada and the United States.

Read more from Yahoo Sports.

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