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136th Avenue Freeze-Out: Jersey Ends Florida Panthers Winning Streak



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New Jersey Devils goalie Nico Daws stops Matthew Tkachuk during the second period Saturday in Sunrise. Daws and the Devils ended Florida’s 9-game winning streak with s 4-1 win. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

SUNRISE — If the Florida Panthers were going to see their longest winning streak in a couple years end, well, they picked the perfect night to do it.

With the Miami Dolphins seeing their season freeze to death in Kansas City, did anyone notice the Panthers lost 4-1 to the New Jersey Devils?

OK, the loss was noticed.

It was just quickly forgotten.

Unlike the Dolphins, the Panthers can move on.

They have just surpassed the midway point, after all.

“It is good for us to reset, regroup and get back at it,” said goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who was named to his third All-Star team earlier in the day but saw some weird stuff later that night.

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“We had a good run. We need to make sure we stay with our game. … It was fantastic and we beat a lot of really good, high-skilled teams. It’s a long season. Streaks and stuff don’t matter. It’s about learning our lessons and getting ready for the playoffs.”

With a Sunday practice in Fort Lauderdale and a Monday matinee against Radko Gudas, Frank Vatrano and the Anaheim Ducks forthcoming, the Panthers get right back on the proverbial horse.

Florida had won nine straight, not losing since Dec. 21 against the visiting St. Louis Blues.

On Saturday, the Panthers fell behind 3-0 and never recovered as Nico Daws made 36 saves to give New Jersey a needed victory.

Florida gave up a pair of goals in the first — one went off the stick of defenseman Dmitry Kulikov and another came when Bobrovsky was hit by a Jersey player via a Kulikov hit — and that ended up being that.

The Panthers were down 3-0 late in the second when Sam Reinhart scored his 31st of the season off a fantastic tic-tac-toe power play started by Brandon Montour with Matthew Tkachuk feeding his pal with a sweet between-the-legs backhanded sweep.

Yet Florida’s barrage in the Jersey zone was rebuffed by Daws in the third and the Panthers could not pull any closer.

Daws stopped all 16 shots faced in the final 20.

“I just think we know how to play the right way, what our strengths are,’’ Montour said. “When we do that, we’re obviously a dangerous hockey club.  So, we’ll get back to it. Some practice tomorrow and we’ll be back ready for Monday.”


Reinhart scored a power-play goal for the sixth consecutive game — which ties him with Jeremy Roenick (1992-93), Luc Robitaille (1992-93) and Rich Preston (1979-80) as the fourth player on record to accomplish such a feat according to NHL stats.

Regardless of the man-advantage, Reinhart’s six-game goal streak is the longest of his career and tied Tkachuk for second-longest run in franchise history.

During the 2000-01 season, Pavel Bure had at least one goal in seven straight games.

Side note: If your bar has trivia night and the question comes up ‘Florida Panthers goals record,’ just answer Sasha Barkov or Pavel Bure and you’ll probably be OK.

  • The Panthers have a power-play goal in eight straight games for the fifth time in franchise history. Florida scored at least one with the man-advantage in 10 consecutive games from Nov. 1-Nov. 21, 2018.
  • Reinhart became the 11th player in NHL history to record a six-game goal streak to begin a calendar year. The only other active player to achieve the feat is Max Pacioretty (2015).
  • Montreal’s Newsy Lalonde kicked off the Roaring Twenties with eight straight goals. He, reportedly, did not care about the Miami Dolphins. It was 1920, after all. Lalonde was too busy watching the Carolina Panthers with a borrowed Peacock account.

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  • When: Monday, 1 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL App
  • This Season — At Anaheim: Panthers 2, Ducks 1 (Nov. 17). At Florida: Monday.
  • Last Season: Florida won 2-0
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Florida leads 22-14-2, 3 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Wednesday vs. Detroit, 7 p.m.

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