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Florida Panthers Won 7 Straight – Thanks to Their Top 6

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Sasha Barkov, Matthew Tkachuk, Carter Verhaeghe and Sam Reinhart celebrate a goal earlier this season. Florida’s top line of Barkov, Evan Rodrigues and Reinhart leads the NHL in goals scored. // Photo by Roger Lee Photographer (561) 866-2000

The Florida Panthers are currently on their longest winning streak since the Presidents’ Trophy champs won 13 straight two seasons ago.

Many of the same faces who fueled that run during the team’s run-and-gun days are doing it again.

During this seven-game streak, the Panthers have outscored their vanquished foes 31-14 — and number slightly skewed by Saturday’s 8-4 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

Going into Saturday, Florida’s average score in its previous six wins was 3.8-1.7; it is now 4.4-2.

Regardless, it is hard to underscore the importance of Florida’s top-6 during this winning streak.

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Of the 31 goals scored over the course of the past seven games, 24 have come from Sam Reinhart (10), Carter Verhaeghe (seven), Sam Bennett (three), Matthew Tkachuk (three) and Evan Rodrigues (one).

Wait.

That is only five players.

Oh, yeah.

During this scoring/winning spree, captain Sasha Barkov has not scored a single goal.

He does have 13 assists, however.

Slacker.

“I’m playing with some pretty good players,” Reinhart said after he scored three in Denver.

The Panthers have two of the top offensive lines in the league on 5-on-5 with the Rodrigues-Barkov-Reinhart trio leading the NHL with 27 goals according to MoneyPuck.com.

They have also been on the ice for just six goals-against — but that is another story, and another reason why they have been so good this season.

Florida’s second line ranks No. 16 with 14 goals, a number which should start to grow what with Tkachuk picking things up of late.

Of Tkachuk’s eight goals this season, three have come during the past seven games.

These numbers also come off limited, comparably, shot attempts as Florida’s top line ranks 11th with 367 and the second line is 16th with 299.

The Rangers’ top line which features Artemi Panarin and Vincent Trocheck, for example, leads all trios with 462 shot attempts thus far.

Opposing coaches know they are in for a night when looking at what the Panthers roll out not only in their top-6 but when they mix-and-match on the power play.

Florida has scored 10 goals on 33 power play chances during the winning streak.

“You’re playing a team,’’ Colorado’s Jared Bednar said, “that’s got a bunch of dangerous guys.’’

Florida’s other goals during the winning streak: Eetu Luostarinen and Gus Forsling have two each; Aaron Ekblad, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Kevin Stenlund each scored once.

ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS @ ST. LOUIS BLUES 

  • When: Tuesday, 8 p.m.
  • Where: Enterprise Center, St. Louis
  • 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 (St. Louis Leads 1-0) — At Florida: Blues 4, Panthers 1 (Dec. 21). At St. Louis: Tuesday.
  • Last Season: Blues won 2-0
  • All-time Regular Season Series: St. Louis leads 27-12-1, 3 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Thursday vs. Los Angeles, 7 p.m.

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