SUNRISE — Paul Maurice said he did not really notice that the Florida Panthers arena does not feature an out-of-town scoreboard in which to keep track of the teams involved in the playoff race.
But, he is glad FLA Live Arena does not have one.
Really did not matter on Thursday night.
So, the three teams go into Friday right in the same spot they started Thursday — but now there are only three games left.
To sum things up, here is where the three teams stand:
Florida is tied with the Islanders for the top wild card spot but holds the tiebreaker. If the Panthers win out, they are Wild Card 1 regardless of what else happens in the final few days.
The Islanders hold a one-point lead on the Penguins so there is little to no separation here.
The winners get the spoils.
Florida heads to Washington later today for a game against the Capitals and then have two games (Toronto, Carolina) at home to finish this off.
Pittsburgh is in Detroit on Saturday afternoon with the Islanders playing host to the Flyers on Saturday night.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW
The Panthers have gone deeper into the Lion King soundtrack after their Lyon King said the postgame music has gotten cheesy.
Hey, whatever works.
Heck of a night for Lyon as he made more saves than any other Florida goalie in a regulation game and came within one of Roberto Luongo for the all-time saves mark in a single game.
And, he has won five straight games in place of Sergei Bobrovsky.
Who saw this coming 10 days ago?
Put your hand down, liar.
- The Panthers found themselves on the wrong end of a 6-on-3 power play Tuesday as Anton Lundell and Aaron Ekblad sat in the penalty box. Fortunately for the Panthers, Buffalo only had this three-skater advantage for 12.2 seconds.
- Had Ottawa coach D.J. Smith — who got tossed in the third period — pulled his goalie, the Sens would have had a 6-on-3 for two whole minutes. Still cannot believe he did not down 5-1. Anyways…
- Tuesday night’s matchup certainly felt like a postseason game. The Panthers got a win they really needed. And they’ll need to keep winning.
- Anthony Duclair has not been able to find the back of the net since he scored that empty net goal upon his return. He has been struggling offensively, but Duclair is doing a lot of good things for the Panthersas well.
- The boys from Panther Pourri are back as they discuss the team coming back from the dead. Check out the podcast RIGHT HERE
- Video from Maurice, Lyon, Sasha Barkov and Matthew Tkachuk following the win against the Sens 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.
NHL/NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
The Islanders came out determined to stay in the thick of this playoff race and beat the gears off the Lightning 6-1.
Tampa Bay is already banged up and the injury to Tanner Jeannot did not look good. At all.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins admitted it was odd to score on Marc-Andre Fleury on Thursday night but they had bigger things on their mind.
- Seattle is about to enjoy postseason NHL hockey for the first time in a long, long time. Good for the Kraken.
- The Philadelphia Flyers continue counting down the days as they get beat up in Dallas.
- The Detroit Red Wings are officially out of the playoff race after losing to the Sabres — who are still kinda, sorta in it.
- The Calgary Flames are still alive after winning a must-win game against Winnipeg.
- Cale Makar missed his second consecutive game for the Colorado Avalanche.
- Looks like the Boston Bruins will slip into the playoffs as well. They beat the Leafs on Thursday. Who saw Boston making the postseason?
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT WASHINGTON CAPITALS
- When: Saturday, 7 p.m.
- Where: Capital One Arena, Washington D.C.
- 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: Panthers won 2-1 (d. Capitals 4-2 in first round)
- This season (Florida leads 2-0): Panthers 5, Capitals 2 (Nov. 15); Panthers 6, Capitals 3 (Feb. 16)
- All-time regular season series: Washington leads 67-45-12, 9 ties
- Up Next for the Panthers: Monday, Toronto Maple Leafs at Florida, 7 p.m.