When the Miami Marlins last visited the Florida Panthers, pitcher Jose Fernandez dropped the ceremonial puck and stayed until the end, leading cheers in a custom Florida sweater as the home team beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime.
A number of Marlins players return to BB&T Center on Thursday night and Fernandez will be remembered once more.
Fernandez, who died in a boat crash off Miami Beach in September, was honored by the Panthers on opening night when the entire team came out for warmups in identical jerseys with Fernandez’s name and No. 16 on the back.
Dee Gordon, who was at Florida’s opening night win against the Devils to accept a $35,000 donation on Fernandez’s behalf from the team foundation as well as money donated by Florida Panthers players, is expected to attend Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings.
Miami’s Tom Koehler, JT Realmuto and Derek Dietrich are also expected to be at BB&T Center.
Three jerseys — worn and autographed by captain Derek MacKenzie, Keith Yandle and Vincent Trocheck — will be auctioned off outside Club Lexus near the main entrance.
Two other jerseys, from Alex Petrovic and Mark Pysyk, will be available through a raffle with one ticket costing $5 and three available for $10.
The jersey worn by Aaron Ekblad was signed by the entire Florida team and auctioned off at the team’s ‘Cats & Cocktails’ event last week in Fort Lauderdale.
Thursday: Kings at Panthers
When/where: 7:30 p.m.; BB&T Center, Sunrise.
TV/radio: FSFL; WQAM 560, WMEN 640, WMYM 990.
Series: Los Angeles leads 17-10-3.
Scouting report: After kicking off this four-game trip with an overtime win over Philadelphia, the Kings lost 5-0 to both the Capitals and Lightning. Sunday’s loss in Washington snapped a five-game winning streak.