It might not be a coincidence that Panthers third-year defenseman Erik Gudbranson has scored three goals in his last two games including two in Monday afternoon's 6-3 preseason win over the Predators and another in last week's intrasquad scrimmage.

Gudbranson 21 who took a step backward in his overall development last season after sustaining a shoulder injury in an offseason wakeboarding accident wasn't happy to see a zero in his goal-scoring column. Of course Gudbranson is always more concerned with his defensive prowess so his league-worst minus-22 (tied with teammate Brian Campbell) was also disturbing.

So this summer he returned home to Ottawa and worked out frequently with an innovative skating and stickhandling aid called the Power Edge Pro Training System. Then Gudbranson spent two separate weeks in the Boston area with Panthers skills coach Paul Vincent to continue reinforcing his overall skating and shooting skills.

"My skating was good but not efficient at all'' Gudbranson said Wednesday morning after practice at Iceplex. "I was wasting a lot of energy with those eccentric movements. I really just tightened it up with Coach V bringing back the basics of skating simplifying my stride becoming more compact and efficient.''