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FHN Florida Panthers Wrap

Florida Panthers Wrap: Cats In the Thick of a Playoff Race

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Aaron Ekblad is congratulated after scoring his second goal of the night in the Florida Panthers 9-5 rout of the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night in Sunrise. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

It was a pretty good week for the Florida Panthers as they continued their push toward a playoff spot.

Not only did Florida go 2-0 during the week, but they wrapped up a seven-game homestand by going 5-1-1 — ending on a six-game point streak.

The Panthers are in Detroit today for the first of a road back-to-back set against the Red Wings and Flyers and enter the day a point out of the playoffs.

Among the highlights of the week were a record-setting game against the Montreal Canadiens, another comeback win (against the Devils) and Sasha Barkov ties Jonathan Huberdeau for the franchise’s all-time scoring record.

Not too bad.

Let us take a walk down Memory Lane, shall we?

TODAY

The Florida Panthers are getting a big boost in offensive production from Matthew Tkachuk as he has been lighting it up lately.

But Tkachuk does more than just produce points for the Panthers. FHN+ Subscriber Exclusive

  • It was not that long ago that the likes of Washington, Detroit, Ottawa and Buffalo looked like serious playoff challengers but all four have fallen off over the past few weeks. The Panthers now appear to be in a three-team race (Pittsburgh, Islanders) for two postseason spots.

SUNDAY

Barkov and Huberdeau are linked once more as they sit atop the Florida record book for most points scored (613) in a career.

Huberdeau liked a Tweet sent out on this story on Sunday and you know he is rooting for his pal to continue his work here in South Florida. FHN+ Subscriber Exclusive

Florida panthers

Florida Panthers center Sasha Barkov is now a point away from becoming the Florida Panthers’ all-time leader in points. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

SATURDAY

The Panthers came into the third period down 2-0 but Barkov got things rolling after a puck hit Marc Staal then Tkachuk and Sam Reinhart got a pair of quick ones and Florida ends up winning a big one against the Devils.

FRIDAY

Paul Maurice was almost speechless after his team not only survived but thrived in a wild-and-wooly game against the Canadiens.

Sergei Bobrovsky knew his stats were going to be awful after giving up three goals on three shots, but battled through an odd start and made some big saves.

The win is the most important thing, right?

THURSDAY

There was no structure and a lot of Wildcat going on Thursday night as the Panthers scored, seemingly, at will against the Canadiens.

WEDNESDAY

The Montreal Canadiens had lost seven consecutive games before going into Pittsburgh and pulling off an upset of the Penguins on Tuesday.

That caught the attention of the Panthers who said they were not going to allow them to sneak into Sunrise and pull those sort of shenanigans.

  • Alex Lyon was sent down to AHL Charlotte on Wednesday but spoke to Colby Guy  before he left for Toronto about how he planned to be ready when the Panthers needed him to be.
  • Lyon met the team in Detroit on Sunday after giving up one goal in two games this weekend. He is expected to start Tuesday in Philadelphia.
TUESDAY

Gus Forsling has been knocked down more than a few times this season, but the Florida defenseman always seems to bounce right back up.

He talks about some of his boo-boos this season — including a nasty finger injury — and why he takes everything in stride.

LAST MONDAY

Nothing has been handed to Ryan Lomberg as he went from an undrafted player who earned a minor-league deal with Calgary to a stalwart in the Florida Panthers lineup.

Lomberg is now a fan favorite in his third season with the Panthers as it appears he has found a home in South Florida. FHN+ Subscriber Exclusive

  • What a difference a week makes, eh? On Tuesday, it looked like the Pittsburgh Penguins were motoring toward a playoff spot as they had won seven of nine after sweeping a weekend set against the Flyers and Rangers. They come into this week with three straight losses.
  • This story technically ran on Sunday but it was one of our most popular pieces of the year, so:
  • Zach Andrews almost called out of being the Panthers’ Emergency Backup Goalie because work at his tax accounting firm was stacking up. Then the Blackhawks called and the 31-year-old from Parkland was suiting up in an NHL game on his home ice against the Panthers.
Florida panthers playoff

Zach Andrews, a 31-year-old tax accountant from Parkland, suits up for the Chicago Blackhawks in a game against his hometown Florida Panthers on March 10, 2023. // Photo @ColbyDGuy

PANTHERS ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS AT DETROIT RED WINGS  

  • When: Monday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit 
  • Streaming/TV: 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 4-0
  • This season (Florida leads 2-0): Panthers 5, Detroit 1 (Dec. 8); Panthers 3, Red Wings 2 (Jan. 6)
  • All-time regular season series: Florida leads 35-19-6, 5 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Tuesday at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

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