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FHN TODAY: Florida Panthers In Must-Win Mode

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SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers say they do not differentiate one opponent from another. Those who have watched this team even for a little bit knows that is not the case.

The Panthers are certainly guilty of playing down to their opponent, something we have seen time and again this season.

As an example, Florida came out flat and never got things going against the retooling Nashville Predators on Thursday night.

Then, on Saturday, the Panthers come out gangbusters against the Penguins in a 4-1 win.

Saturday certainly felt like a must-win game for the Panthers.

A regulation loss to the Penguins would have put them seven points out of the playoffs — not a place they can afford to be right now.

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“It was a great effort. It was high intensity, fun to be part of it,’’ said Sergei Bobrovsky, who had plenty of intense moments of his own.

“We protected the house very well. The sticks, back-check—everything was a very high level, high-end execution. … It’s a huge win for us and the next one is even bigger.”

The Panthers get back after it Tuesday night when Vegas comes to Sunrise.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW

Sasha Barkov joked around when asked about Eetu Luostarinen, saying he did not want him to get too much praise. That’s because Barkov knows everyone has been praising Luostarinen.

And that he has deserved it.

Career year for Luostarinen who is now playing up on the Panthers’ top line.

NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW

After losing for the sixth consecutive time on Sunday, it looks like we can stick a fork in the Detroit Red Wings.

Quite a big drop over the past couple of weeks as the Wings had gone from winning six of seven to losing two straight to Ottawa to being sellers at the deadline.

  • Jonathan Quick looked good as the Vegas Golden Knights held off Montreal. Now back in the Pacific, Quick has a chance to stick it to the Kings.
  • At least Joonas Korpisalo looked pretty good in his Los Angeles Kings debut.
  • Speaking of forks, fans of the Calgary Flames are not happy. At all.
  • The Washington Capitals were also sellers — and they got blown out by the Sharks on Sunday.
  • The Philadelphia Flyers have been out of it for a while, but it always feels nice to snap a losing streak.
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins saw their win streak ended by the Panthers, but it was still a pretty good week.

PANTHERS ON DECK

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS AT FLORIDA PANTHERS

  • When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
  • This season (Vegas leads 1-0): Golden Knights 4, Panthers 2 (Jan. 12)
  • Last season: Split 1-1
  • All-time regular season series: Vegas leads 6-2-1
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Friday vs. Chicago. 7 p.m.

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