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Penguins Stay in Hunt for Playoffs, Leafs Gain on Panthers

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Penguins playoffs

The Pittsburgh Penguins stayed alive in their hunt for a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs Monday although they remain on the outside looking in.

The Toronto Maple Leafs pulled within three points of the Florida Panthers, however, as they beat the Penguins 3-2 on Monday night.

Pittsburgh saw its four-game winning streak snapped in the loss after Jack McCabe scored 1:30 into overtime.

The Penguins are tied with Detroit for the final playoff spot — they have played one extra game — but are only a point behind the Islanders for third in the Metro.

Toronto cut its gap on the Panthers, something coach Paul Maurice mentioned in practice Monday.

It sounds like Florida is going to play its normal lineup for the next two games and then see where things stand before deciding how to go into the final two.

“We will make a decision on the value of the Buffalo-Toronto series and if there is any value,” Maurice said when asked about alternating his goalies in the final four games. “If we’re in striking distance (of the Atlantic) we will consider it, if we can close out home ice, we’ll consider it.’’

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW

The Panthers and Senators play again tonight and, even though there is not much on the line, that has not mattered in the past. Story from Alan Greenberg.

— With the Marlins playing in New York tonight, how do you watch the Panthers?

Jacques Martin’s second coaching stint with the Senators is coming to an end. But his work in Ottawa may just be getting started.

— Although it does not look like the Panthers will variate from their lineup tonight, they could be rotating some players in during this four-game homestand.

— So, what’s next for the Panthers?

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NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW

The Detroit Red Wings continue to control their playoff destiny.

— So, the Philadelphia Flyers knew in the summer something was going to go down and they would not have Carter Hart?

— The Boston Bruins are ready to get physical in the playoffs. Can’t hurt.

— Remember when the Panthers were an annual participant in the Draft Lottery? Good times. Anyway, taking a look at the Montreal Canadiens as their odds for the top spot keep getting better.

For the most in-depth coverage of the Florida Panthers:

ON DECK

OTTAWA SENATORS @ FLORIDA PANTHERS

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