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Penguins Helping Florida Panthers Move Closer to Playoff Spot

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Florida panthers playoff

SUNRISE — With 13 games remaining in the regular season, the Florida Panthers remain outside the NHL playoff race but they are right on the heels of both the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders.

By coming back to beat the Devils 4-2 on Saturday night, Florida pulled within a point of the Penguins and Islanders.

The Pittsburgh Penguins lost for the third straight time — this one 6-0 to the Rangers — so that one point held up.

The New York Islanders eased on by a perhaps distracted San Jose Sharks so they have a three-point lead on the Panthers.

Unlike the playoff standings a few weeks ago, these are not necessarily skewed by the old games-in-hand as both the Penguins and Panthers have played the exact same amount of games.

Florida has played two fewer games than the Islanders, however, so that could come into play as it may be conducive for them to try and win the top wild card and avoid the juggernaut Boston Bruins in the opening round.

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FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW

Sasha Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau are together again as the former linemates are tied atop the Florida Panthers record book as the franchise’s all-time scoring leaders.

Barkov will soon have the record as his own. And, with this being the start of an 8-year deal, he’ll have that record for a long, long time.

Great stuff from Barkov and his teammates — past and present.

“He could have the fame and the spotlight, but I do not think he wants that,’’ Vincent Trocheck said a few years ago. “He doesn’t care for attention but he does care about this game, this team and about winning games. The rest of it, he does not need. He is one of the best hockey players in the world, but all he wants to do is help out his team. He is a natural leader. That is what he does.’’

  • Florida found itself down 2-0 to the Devils going into the third period and things did look a little bleak, right? Are the Comeback Cats back?
  • Great game by the Panthers for about 45 minutes on Saturday as Sam Reinhart gets a pair of third-period goals with Barkov and Matthew Tkachuk scoring as well.
  • The Panthers set a franchise record for goals in a single period on Thursday as they put up seven on the Canadiens in the first. They knew Saturday night would be a lot different against the New Jersey Devils.
  • Alex Lyon is back with Charlotte as he got a 5-0 shutout Friday afternoon in Toronto and then gave up one goal on Saturday. Lyon should be hanging out in Detroit waiting for the team to arrive. Too bad the Tigers are still in Lakeland.
  • Hey, when the Panthers need Lyon, he says he will be ready. Tuesday night in Philadelphia looks like his night.
  • Video from Paul Maurice, Reinhart, Tkachuk and Brandon Montour following Saturday night’s win is up on the FHN YouTube Channel — not to mention video from morning skates, practices and much, much more.
  • 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.

NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW

Former Panthers goalie James Reimer made headlines on Saturday by becoming the latest NHL player to refuse to wear a Pride jersey during warmups — for the San Jose Sharks — for one reason or another.

“I have no hate in my heart for anyone, and I have always strived to treat everyone that I encounter with respect and kindness,” Reimer said in the statement announcing his decision. “In this specific instance, I am choosing not to endorse something that is counter to my personal convictions which are based on the Bible, the highest authority in my life.”

The Panthers will hold their Pride Night on Thursday night before playing host to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It has never been an issue here before, but it has not been an issue elsewhere much before this season. We’ll see what happens.

Speaking of the San Jose Sharks, they have now lost nine straight at home. Oof.

  • John Carlson of the Washington Capitals goes into detail on what it is like to see a 90 MPH slapshot coming straight at your head.
  • It looked like the Hurricanes were going down to the Philadelphia Flyers — until the final seconds.
  • Back to the Pittsburgh Penguins: Starting with the loss to the Canadiens, it was a wasted week.
  • The Montreal Canadiens showed some fight in a loss at Tampa.
  • The Calgary Flames lose in OT (again) and Jacob Markstrom was not happy.
  • Giving up shorthanded goals has been a problem for the Detroit Red Wings, something you can bet the Panthers are well aware of.
  • The Boston Bruins were solid in their win agains the Wild.

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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