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Sam Reinhart Has Been Crucial to Florida Panthers Winning Streak



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Sam Reinhart scores on New Jersey goaltender Vitek Vanecek in the first period of their game in Newark on Oct. 16. Reinhart hopes to keep his scoring streak alive today when the Devils visit Sunrise. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

SUNRISE — Sam Reinhart has been crucial to the Florida Panthers nine-game winning streak.

And the numbers don’t lie.

Since the streak started on December 23, Reinhart has 12 goals, 14 points, seven power-play goals, a shorthanded goal, and a highlight-reel overtime winner in nine games.

Nobody else has scored double-digit goals in that span.

“Nothing surprises me anymore with him,” Matthew Tkachuk said. “He’s the real deal, and he’s been playing amazing.”

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What is more absurd is Reinhart’s production on the power play.

The only player in the league with more than half the number of goals Reinhart in that span is Colorado Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin, who has four in nine games.

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Nobody else has more than three.

That’s what happens when a player has as much confidence and versatility as Reinhart has right now.

He typically plays the bumper role on the power play while shifting back and forth between taking shots at the perimeter and screening the goaltender from the front of the net.

And he has been able to score goals both ways.

His overtime winner that gave the Panthers their ninth win in a row is a prime example of Reinhart’s role on the power play.

He received the puck down low in the bumper position with 2.4 seconds to go with two options in front of him: Pass the puck to Tkachuk backdoor or make a move and get a shot off.

Reinhart had the instinct to forgo the pass when he saw Tkachuk was covered and make a move on his backhand with time running out.

His elite shot did the rest.

When the power play is cycling, Reinhart goes back and forth between that bumper position and taking up residence in the slot, and he does a lot of damage from there.

When Tkachuk or Sasha Barkov can slip a pass to him from down low, as they have done on multiple occasions throughout the streak, he has been money from there.

Even with traffic in the area, Reinhart has consistently gotten quick shots off and scored some goals.

And when one of his teammates can get a shot off from the perimeter, he’s also pulled his fair share of goals off deflections.

Reinhart has done his damage in many different ways, which has made him so dangerous for the Panthers in the first half of the season.

He has 30 goals and 53 points at the midway point of the season.

He also leads the league in power-play goals (15) and game-winning goals (nine).

Sitting just three goals away from tying his career high, Reinhart’s offensive versatility has been a huge key to his success.

And he has come through in so many critical moments for a Panthers team with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference halfway through the season.

“He’s been doing it right for so long,” coach Paul Maurice said. “His shot placement is so good.”

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  • When: Saturday, 6 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise 
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WPOW 96.5-FM 2;WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Season Series (Florida leads 1-0) — At New Jersey: Panthers 4, Devils 3 (October 16)March 15. At Florida:Saturday.
  • Last Season: Florida won 2-1
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Devils lead 57-36-7, 7 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Monday vs. Anaheim, 1 p.m.

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