The Pittsburgh Penguins had quite a weekend.
Florida Panthers coach Paul Maurice says of the teams battling for one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, the one which goes on a heater will be the one to make it.
It certainly looks like the Penguins are going to be one of the Elite Eight in the East especially after this weekend.
Pittsburgh swept its back-to-back set against the Flyers and Rangers, winning the latter in overtime when Kris Letang scored at 1:38.
The Penguins have won seven of their past nine going 7-1-1 during that span as they have taken control of the first wild card spot in the East.
Pittsburgh leads the New York Islanders by two points with one game in hand on the Panthers.
Florida is three points back of New York for that final wild card spot with a game in hand on the Islanders.
Washington, Ottawa, Buffalo and Detroit are also still in the running for one of those final spots.
Speaking of the weekend, the Senators did themselves no favors by losing back-to-back games in Vancouver and Calgary.
Florida and Ottawa still have two games left against each other.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW
Ryan Lomberg has been a mainstay in the Florida Panthers’ lineup ever since his big fight at center ice with Kole Sherwood of the Blue Jackets back in 2021.
Now, Lomberg is finding more opportunity and responsibility with the Panthers — and he says he “does not want to slip back.’’
It appears Lomberg has certainly found himself a home in South Florida with the Panthers.
- Zach Andrews is on call for most of the Panthers’ games in Sunrise as the Emergency Backup Goalie but he almost called out on Friday due to his heavy workload as a tax accountant. Then the Blackhawks called — and Andrews was thisclose to becoming the next South Florida product to make his NHL debut.
- The Panthers lead the NHL in penalties taken and it is a problem that does not seem to be going away. On Saturday, at least, they drew a few of their own and cashed in on their chances.
- Florida was booed off the ice as they trailed the Blackhawks 2-0 after 40 minutes on Friday night. But they turned it around in the third and got a big overtime win.
- New video from coach Maurice, Matthew Tkachuk and Marc Staal following Saturday’s OT loss to the Jets is up on the FHN YouTube Channel. You can click the embedded videos below or click RIGHT HERE to see everything all in one place.
- If you hit subscribe (it’s free), you will know when new content comes up.
NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
The Detroit Red Wings won the home version of their back-to-back with the Boston Bruins on Sunday.
Tyler Bertuzzi made his return to Detroit and admitted it was odd “walking to the other side.”
- Boston Bruins star Brad Marchand keep up his TNT fun with Paul Bissonette.
- Have the Calgary Flames ended their experiment of putting Jonathan Huberdeau on the right side? He certainly sounds hopeful that is indeed the case as he scored a big goal against the Senators.
- The Washington Capitals are 11-15-2 since Jan. 3. Are their playoff hopes as dire as they look?
- Of course, the Caps looked pretty good to the New York Islanders on Saturday.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without Nick Bonino for a little bit after he sustained a lacerated kidney during their overtime loss to the Islanders on Thursday.
- The Washington Capitals re-signed Trevor van Riemsdyk to a three-year, $9 million extension on Saturday.
- Could Ray Shero join the Philadelphia Flyers? It’s not out of the question.
PANTHERS ON DECK
MONTREAL CANADIENS AT FLORIDA PANTHERS
- When: Thursday, 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
- Last season: Florida won 3-1
- This season (Florida leads 2-0): Panthers 7, Canadiens 2 (Dec. 29); Panthers 6, Canadiens 2 (Jan. 19)
- All-time regular season series: Florida leads 53-38-11, 6 ties
- Up Next for the Panthers: New Jersey Devils at Florida, Saturday, 5 p.m.