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No Need For Reminders

Friday, 04.3.2009 / 11:28 AM ET / Preview
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No Need For Reminders
Florida battles the Thrashers tonight at the BankAtlantic Center at 7:30pm. There is no local television for this game, but can be seen on Center Ice.  (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)
By Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com

SUNRISE – The Panthers awoke Friday morning with the realization that its right there for them.

A victory tonight at BankAtlantic Center against the Thrashers and the Panthers will climb into a tie with the Rangers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

With five games remaining and a game in hand over the Rangers heading into tonight’s game, the Panthers can make a huge move in the standings this evening.

Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said after Friday morning’s skate there’s no need to remind his players the importance of any game or what it means in the standings.

“These guys know what we have to do,” he said. “They know the importance. They look at the standings. Really, at this point in the year, I really believe your coaching staff takes a step back and really the room handles that type of stuff. You give them a game plan. We’re almost 80 games into this. They know what has to be done.”

The Panthers are on a three-game roll with victories over Philadelphia, Dallas and Ottawa. Goalie Craig Anderson has helped lead the Panthers, stopping 102 of 109 shots in those three victories.

The Thrashers may be out of the playoffs, but they’re one of the league’s hottest teams, winning 11 of their last 15 and 15 of their last 23. Captain Ilya Kovalchuk (41 goals), who’s scored 55 points (28 goals) in 42 career games against the Panthers, will see plenty of action alongside linemates Todd White and Bryan Little.

The Panthers aren’t the only team in the Eastern Conference riding a streak. Carolina has won seven consecutive games and is 10-1-2 in their last 13. Pittsburgh is 13-1-2 in their last 16. The Canadiens are 4-0-1 in their last five.

The Hurricanes scored two goals 28 seconds apart in the third period Thursday evening to beat the Rangers 4-2. Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice gave some of the credit to the sold-out house at the RBC Arena.

“The crowd got us going before we did in the third period and that seemed to be the difference for us,” he said.

The only team in the East battling for a playoff spot that isn’t currently riding a streak is the Rangers, who are 2-3-1 in their last six games and have been outscored 28-11 in the third period since John Tortorella took over behind the bench.

Along with the Panthers key game Friday against the Thrashers, Philadelphia will play host to Toronto and Buffalo is at Washington.

On Saturday, the Rangers visit Boston. Other games with playoff implications Saturday include Montreal at Toronto and Pittsburgh at Carolina.

NOTES

No local television tonight…Same lineup for the Panthers as Tuesday. That means Anderson in goal and defenseman Steve Eminger and forwards Anthony Stewart and Nick Tarnasky scratched…

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 74 47 20 7 226 172 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
5 NYI 76 44 27 5 230 211 93
6 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
7 WSH 75 40 25 10 218 186 90
8 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
9 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
10 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 74 28 36 10 173 202 66
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 72 13 34 8 47
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jokinen 74 7 33 -1 40
J. Jagr 70 13 26 -3 39
B. Boyes 73 12 23 10 35
A. Ekblad 74 11 24 11 35
J. Hayes 65 18 13 -5 31
A. Barkov 64 14 17 -2 31
B. Campbell 75 3 21 2 24
B. Pirri 42 20 2 5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 17 12 .921 2.33
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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