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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 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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