The Florida Panthers remain three points out of the playoff picture but can pick up some valuable ground tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Panthers were feeling pretty good about themselves as they rode a five-game point streak into New York — but their mood had to change following their 6-2 loss to the Rangers.
Short memories are in order.
The Panthers certainly need a win tonight a lot more than they did on Monday — although every point counts at this point.
Florida is already 0-1 against the Pens having lost to them in Sunrise earlier this season.
Pittsburgh is not playing great right now, so both teams need a win.
The Penguins have lost four of their past six games and are coming off a 2-1 overtime loss to New Jersey on Sunday.
With a win Tuesday, the Panthers could pull within a point of Pittsburgh — although the Pens still have played three fewer games.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW
The Panthers earned a reputation as the ‘Comeback Cats’ last season but this year’s version has yet to win a game in which they were behind entering the third period.
In fact, the Panthers are winless in games they have were down after the first period. Very puzzling.
— Anthony Duclair is closing in on a return with the Panthers after having surgery on his Achilles tendon this past summer. Helping him on his road back? Patric Hornqvist.
—Sam Bennett left Monday’s game with what looked like an injury to his right leg — only to return in the second.
Bennett did not play in the third period with coach Paul Maurice saying he probably would not be in the lineup tonight against the Penguins.
— Mack Guzda was the backup to Lyon on Saturday night in what was his unofficial first NHL game. Because he did not hit the ice, it does not count as an NHL debut.
On Monday, the 22-year-old who was an undrafted and unsigned goalie playing in junior hockey at this time last year was sent back to Charlotte as Spencer Knight rejoined the Panthers.
— Plenty of postgame reaction from MSG last night on the FHN YouTube Channel including comments from Maurice, Sasha Barkov and Brandon Montour.
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NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
The Boston Bruins know they’re going to have to write a big check to keep David Pastrnak.
Are things getting closer?
— Johnny Gaudreau was back in Calgary on Monday night and the CBJ star heard it from the fans of the Calgary Flames — like Matthew Tkachuk, both good and bad.
And, as was the case when the Panthers came to town, the Flames get a win.
— Sonny Milano signing a last-ditch deal with the Washington Capitals has worked out pretty well.
— The New York Islanders keep struggling as the Leafs roll them 5-2.
— Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion has been scouting the Los Angeles Kings. That will get the rumors flowing.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
- When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
- Where: PPG Arena, Pittsburgh
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
- Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM 2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Season Series (Penguins lead 1-0): Pittsburgh 4, Panthers 2 (Dec. 15)
- Last season: Florida won 2-1
- All-time regular season series: Penguins lead 55-35-7, 4 ties
- Up Next for the Panthers: Friday vs. Los Angeles Kings, 7 p.m.