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Apple Store: Reinhart, Tkachuk Have Something Special Brewing



Tkachuk reinhart
Sam Reinhart celebrates his power-play goal with Matthew Tkachuk on Saturday night against the host New York Islanders. Reinhart set the franchise record with his 20th power-play goal — and Tkachuk has assisted on 14 of them, including the past seven. // Photo courtesy @FlaPanthers

On Saturday nightSam Reinhart set the Florida Panthers franchise record for power-play goals in a season with his 20th. Without watching, one could have assumed Matthew Tkachuk set him up.

One would have been correct.

Reinhart has been all but automatic in scoring on the power play lately — and Tkachuk has played a big part in his teammate’s success.

Of Reinhart’s 20 power-play goals this season, Tkachuk has assisted on 14 of them — with 11 being the primary.

Since Reinhart started his assault on the Florida record book on Dec. 23 against Vegas — he came into that game with only eight power play goals — Tkachuk has assisted on nine of them, with all of the past seven being the primary.

Many of the power play goals have played out the same way: Tkachuk gets the puck either on the side of the net or behind it (as was the case Saturday) and whips it to Reinhart in the slot.

Reinhart then hammers the puck past a befuddled goalie.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

How dialed in are Reinhart and Tkachuk on the power play these days?

Um, Very?

FHN grabbed Tkachuk following Wednesday’s 6-2 win over the Coyotes, in which he and Reinhart teamed up for yet another power-play goal.

They have done it twice since in Friday’s win over the Penguins and the overtime win against the Islanders on Saturday.

So, Matthew Tkachuk, what’s the secret sauce slathered on these power-play Big Macs?

“I am lucky because I am at the net or the goal line,’’ Tkachuk said. “We have guys like Montour who is great at getting pucks from up top and Barkov who is probably one of the best half-wall guys in the league. Verhaeghe, if he gets off a shot, it is going in. And, Reinhart, he is doing what he does. I am the lucky one because I have four great options on the power play so it is super easy for me.

“Sometimes, the hard part is picking out which guy is more open. But, yeah, Reinhart has been about as automatic as you can get.”

And the key?

“Making quick plays,’’ Tkachuk continued. “Keep the puck moving and that makes the power play.’’


By the way, Tkachuk has 17 power play assists this season — and not all of them are off goals from Reinhart.

Carter Verhaeghe has been the recipient of three of them.

Just not since that win against Vegas before the Christmas break.

Reinhart, as we noted, has scored 12 power-play goals in the 17 games since that game against the Golden Knights in Sunrise on Dec. 23.

On Saturday, he not only passed Pavel Bure (2000-01) and Scott Mellanby (1995-96) for the Panthers’ single-season franchise record for power-play goals in a season — in just Game No. 49 — but he also became the first player since Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux did so in 1996 to hit 20 within the first 50 games of a season.

Reinhart tkachuk

Graphic courtesy NHL Public Relations/ @PR_NHL

Reinhart’s 13-game scoring streak — which includes 10 of those power-play goals — is now tied for second-longest in franchise history with Bure and Jonathan Huberdeau.

Mike Hoffman scored at least a point (10 goals, 20 points) in 17 straight games during the 2018-19 season.

Impressive, indeed.

Tkachuk also got a power-play goal in the third period Saturday.

“It has been pretty fun,’’ Reinhart said after Saturday’s win. “The power play came up big tonight. It was back-to-back, not much jump and those were a couple important goals to get to keep us in the game.”

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  • When: Tuesday, Feb. 6, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: 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, NHL app
  • Season Series — At Florida: Feb. 6; March 7. At Philadelphia: March 24.  
  • Last season: Philadelphia won 2-1
  • All-time regular season series: Philadelphia leads 57-37-6, 7 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Feb. 8 vs. Washington, 7 p.m.

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