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апреля 2010 года.
New challenge ahead for 19-years odd Kulikov // South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Dmitry Kulikov smiled when asked about the workload he's taken on as a rookie with the Panthers.
"I never thought before this year it was possible to play 82 games in a season," the 19-year-old defenseman said. "I thought it was too long, too many games, but I realize now I can handle it."
Of course, Kulikov has missed 14 games this season because of a knee injury. And he admittedly got tired before the Olympic break - he said he recouped that energy with the time off. But in averaging almost 18 minutes of ice time in 66 games, he's proven capable of being a steady top-six defenseman.
His next challenge this summer and into next season is to avoid complacency.
"Your second year is a dangerous year," coach Pete DeBoer said. "The natural reaction is to feel you've arrived and are a full-time NHL player and it's going to be easy to keep repeating that success year after year. That's not the case. You forget the desperation you played with in order to crack the NHL in your rookie year."
DeBoer said the coaching staff will sit with Kulikov during his exit interview Monday when players clean out their lockers and give him examples of players who've struggled in their second year.
Kulikov should benefit from playing in the World Championships next month in Germany. He said Thursday that Team Russia officials have talked to him about it and he's excited about the opportunity to play.
Putting up a fight
Winger Nick Tarnasky's fight against the Devils' David Clarkson on Thursday was his 11th in his past 17 games.
"A few guys have done a pretty good job doing it, but I feel I have more of an obligation to fill that role on the team," said Tarnasky, a restricted free agent hoping the Panthers will tender him an offer.
Tarnasky missed the first 39 games after Ottawa's Chris Neil broke his orbital bone in a fight during the first preseason game. He finally got to fight Neil again Tuesday.
"I've been wanting to fight him since," Tarnasky said. "I'm glad it happened and it's something I can put behind me."
Clem closing strong
Goalie Scott Clemmensen, who's expected to start Saturday in Tampa, is 4-1-1 in his past six starts. He has a .946 save percentage during the stretch, which includes a shutout and two 42-save performances.
"The more you play, the more comfortable you feel," Clemmensen said. "I feel very good about where I'm at right now. ... I wish there was more hockey left or it was earlier in the season."