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Rapid Fire: Sitting Pretty, Hurricane Protection And More

Wednesday, 03.21.2012 / 10:56 AM ET / Rapid Fire
By Steve Goldstein  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Rapid Fire: Sitting Pretty, Hurricane Protection And More
Welcome to Rapid Fire. Panthers broadcasters Steve Goldstein and Bill Lindsay will hit five different thoughts on a daily rotating basis. It's up to them as far as what topics they want to talk about as teams, and more specifically the Panthers, make a push towards the playoffs and the Stanley Cup.


Steve Goldstein takes his shot at the five things he's thinking about after Tuesday's play around the NHL.

1. Play Nice Boys: The Rangers and Devils have always had a great rivalry. I remember as a kid going to the Devils' second game ever, a Friday night at the Meadowlands against the Rangers. New Jersey managed a tie and the rivalry was born. It's ugliest moment came Monday at Madison Square Garden when the Devils started three tough guys up front. The Rangers responded with their own. Puck drops, and away we went! Three seconds of play and three simultaneous fights. I like a good hockey fight as much as the next person but the staging of this one, on the Devils part especially, seemed more wrestling premeditation to me. I love rivalries and tough play but Monday may have crossed the line. And the game was an intense playoff type game as the Rangers won 4-2.

2. Protecting Against Hurricanes: The Panthers are a perfect 4-0 vs tonight's opponent, Carolina. The success has been due to stingy defense and timely goals. Carolina has only five goals in the four meetings. The last time they played here in Carolina was a turning point in the Panthers season. Following a winless 4-game home-stand, the Panthers trailed the Canes 2-0 with 7 minutes left. Tomas Fleischmann and Wojtek Wolski came up with goals to tie it and Stephen Weiss won it in the shootout. The Panthers are 9-3-1 since and driving towards a playoff spot.

3. OV Heating Up: Don't look now but Alex Ovechkin is at 32 goals on the season. The Capitals have hold down the final playoff spot in the East and keeping the pressure on the first place Panthers. If Ovechkin stays at the level he is playing at right now, it's hard to imagine Washington not reaching the playoffs.

4. Huge In Philly: Scott Clemmensen came through again last night with a 35-save game in a 2-1 win against the Flyers. The only Philadelphia goal deflected in off a Panther skate. He was making his first start in 17 days. The Panthers have now beaten every team in the Eastern Conference this season, as they had been 0-2-1 against the Flyers before last night.

5. Sitting Pretty: A very modest 5-5 finish would give the Panthers 95 points and all but guarantee a playoff spot. Considering that the Cats are 15-4-2 against their remaining opponents (only counts Carolina once despite playing them twice), 5-5 seems to be a low number. Buffalo would likely have to go 9-0 the rest of the way to beat out a decent Panthers finish to the season.

Author: Steve Goldstein | FloridaPanthers.com

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 53 31 16 6 143 118 68
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 TBL 52 29 19 4 138 123 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
8 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
9 NJD 54 26 21 7 120 122 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 50 16 21 11 37
J. Huberdeau 53 10 27 9 37
A. Barkov 43 16 19 13 35
J. Jokinen 53 10 25 11 35
V. Trocheck 53 17 16 3 33
R. Smith 53 16 15 10 31
B. Pirri 49 10 13 -5 23
A. Ekblad 49 10 12 20 22
B. Campbell 53 4 16 16 20
N. Bjugstad 38 9 8 -4 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 23 13 5 .930 2.13
A. Montoya 8 3 1 .929 2.01

 
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