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Trap series? Panthers gunning for first as Blue Jackets come to town



Blue Panthers Jackets
Florida’s Patric Hornqvist battles with Columbus defenders Mikko Lehtonen, Dean Kukan and Oliver Bjorkstrand in front of goalie Elvis Merzlikins during a game at BB&T Center earlier this month. // Photo by Roger Topalian, 21st Century Photography (561) 488-0000

The Florida Panthers appear to be getting a breather as the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets come to Sunrise for a two-game series Monday and Tuesday nights.

We are constantly told there are no easy games in the NHL, but if there were, right now the Blue Jackets probably qualify.

Columbus comes to South Florida not only with losses in five consecutive games but eight of nine.

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And 12 of the past 14.

While the Panthers are keeping their eyes on Carolina and Tampa Bay as they try to win the Central Division crown, the Blue Jackets are merely trying to stave off the Detroit Red Wings and not finish in last place.

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