TV: FOX Sports Florida Time: 8:30 p.m.


CHICAGO — Florida Panthers general manager Tom Rowe and his bosses in the front office did not like the way the season was unfolding after the first quarter of the season.

Instead of waiting any longer, the group decided it was time to make a change. Coach Gerard Gallant was fired after two-plus seasons behind the bench, and Rowe — the team’s first-year general manager — was named interim coach for the remainder of the season.

Rowe will make his NHL head coaching debut Tuesday when the Panthers (11-10-1) visit the Chicago Blackhawks (14-6-3). The 60-year-old served as an assistant coach in the NHL and a head coach in the AHL before joining the Panthers’ front-office staff this year.

With Rowe as the new coach, the Panthers’ general manager duties will be split among team president Dale Tallon and assistant general managers Eric Joyce and Steve Werier.

“The priority today, and it’s going to be every day, is to get us into the playoffs,” Rowe told reporters Monday. “What we do going forward, we’ll worry about that in the offseason. There is just too much inconsistency.

“I’m not saying that’s Gerard’s fault. That falls on all of us. It falls on me. It falls on the players. It falls on the other coaches. At the end of the day, we’ve just got to get this team on track. We think we have a very good team, but there are things we have to get moving in a different direction, and we have to get them moving quicker.”

The Blackhawks know a thing or two about quickness.

Chicago has tallied 31 points in its first 23 games to jump atop the Western

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