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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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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