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"About Time" For Madden

Friday, 03.16.2012 / 3:25 PM / Panthers Insider
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
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\"About Time\" For Madden
Center John Madden scores his first goal as a Panther against Boston on Thursday night in the second period.
Probably lost in the shuffle of Thursday night's dominating 6-2 victory over the Bruins to Panthers fans was a goal late in the second period. But to the Panthers coaches and players, the goal was huge.

Stealing the puck from former Panther Gregory Campbell just inside the Bruins blue line while keeping the puck in, John Madden started the play and would end it later as he flipped the puck over Tim Thomas, giving Florida a 4-1 lead.

A relieved Madden punched the glass in celebration. The Panthers center finally netted his elusive first goal with the club in his 20th game.

"It felt great. It was a big game but just to score finally," said Madden. "I had a lot of good chances previously in games leading up so it's good to get it off the back and move forward."

"Actually I told him it was about time he scored," quipped forward Stephen Weiss following the game on Madden's goal.

The players and staff could joke about how long it took Madden to score his first goal with the club, but for Madden the goal was a huge. The 38-year old, who signed with the team back on January 4th, has been in and out of the lineup as he has gotten himself back in playing shape after last playing with Minnesota in April.

"I was happy to see Mads get one there," said head coach Kevin Dineen. "I think he's put a lot of effort in to getting back into playing condition right now and that was certainly a big goal and I think there was a lot of happy teammates for him as well."

"It's awesome," said Weiss. "To see a guy like that come in and practice hard the way he's been practicing, in and out of the lineup, a guy that's done what he's done in this league.

"Great to see."

Madden was signed to bring a veteran presence as the Panthers were riddled with injuries. And now with the regular season winding down, he's looked at for his playoff success. The 38-year old has three Stanley Cup championships to his credit and appeared in ten consecutive postseasons prior to last season. He has recorded 43 points in 134 postseason games.

The center thrives on hockey down the stretch as the games mean more.

"These games are so crucial to everybody for that matter," said Madden. "It's not going to change. It doesn't matter if you're the New York Rangers at the top right now, you want to stay there so you have to consistency going or you're us or you're Buffalo climbing your way back up.

"All of the games are big. We have to keep building and looking towards playoff hockey and we have got to start now."

The second period goal will hopefully help get the Panthers fourth-line center going (346 points in 887 career games) as well as the rest of the team onto their ultimate goal: the playoffs. But as the Panthers make their push hopefully up the standings, they know they have to take it one game at a time, starting against Buffalo on Saturday.

"We're just believing in ourselves and moving forward," said Madden. "Regardless of what the rest of the league does. If we get some help here or there that's great but for the most part we're concentrating on what we can control and that's our next game."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
3 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 63 22 16 -8 38
J. Huberdeau 60 9 27 4 36
J. Jokinen 62 6 28 0 34
A. Ekblad 63 10 23 8 33
B. Boyes 61 11 21 9 32
J. Jagr 59 12 19 -9 31
J. Hayes 54 17 10 -5 27
B. Campbell 63 3 20 3 23
A. Barkov 52 10 12 -4 22
T. Fleischmann 52 7 14 12 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 23 16 11 .920 2.40
A. Montoya 5 6 2 .891 2.98
 
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