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Game On: Panthers, Lightning wrap up regular season before main course

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Lightning Panthers
Brandon Montour seems to be enjoying himself as he pulled Yanni Gourde’s jersey up over his head at the end of the second period Saturday night. Montour was one of two Florida Panthers fined $5,000 on Sunday; the Lightning had Pat Maroon suspended one game. // Photo by Roger Topalian, 21st Century Photography (561) 488-0000

The rivalry between the Panthers and Lightning took a step forward on Saturday night as fights broke out throughout Florida’s 5-1 win with the two teams combining for 31 penalties and 154 penalty minutes.

The 154 combined penalty minutes was the most this season — the crazy Capitals-Rangers game from last week had 141 — but was not the most in a game between the Panthers and Lightning.

In 1998, the two rivals combined for 166 penalty minutes. The Panthers were still playing at Miami Arena back then.

While the Rangers and Capitals went their separate ways after starting that game with a line brawl in response to Tom Wilson’s antics in the previous meeting, the Panthers and Lightning get to do it all over again on Monday night.

Then again, and again.

Monday night, the Panthers and Lightning will wrap up the regular season against one another just two days after one of the most penalized games in either team’s franchise history although both have a long way to go to set any record.

Perhaps that comes Monday.

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