• PRINT
  • RSS

Closing Out The Final Week

Kicking off final week of regular season with game against Detroit, Panthers look to make it a good final seven days.

Saturday, 03.31.2012 / 4:56 PM ET / News
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
X
Share with your Friends


Closing Out The Final Week
The Panthers and Red Wings last faced off in Detroit in November of 2009. Florida registered their third win in the Motor City in franchise history with a 2-1 overtime victory.
It's hard to think that in one week the 2011-12 season will come to a close.

One week. Four games. A combination of five points (Panthers gain compared to opponents losses) to clinch a coveted playoff spot and end a playoff drought of 12 years.

Florida hasn't made it easy on itself on this current four game road trip that ends Sunday in Detroit. After starting it off with a come-from-behind shootout victory over the Canadiens, the Panthers were within 30 seconds of taking home two points in Minnesota but instead settled for just one as the Wild completed their own comeback with an overtime victory. Then Friday night, against the league's worst team, Florida came out flat and the Blue Jackets jumped on them for a 4-1 victory.

The Panthers took the day off Saturday as they flew to Detroit and prepared for one of the West's best. Playing their fourth game in six nights, the team hopes to conserve energy in preparation for the final push.

"It's not like we're going to pass this thing over," said head coach Kevin Dineen following the most recent loss. "We know that we made mistakes and we made costly mistakes, self-inflicted mistakes.

"It's how you react to them. We need to learn, get our energy back, get a little trust in each other and I think that will take care of the tired part."

With the doldrums of the middle of the season long gone and just a week left on the docket, the Panthers still are in a good position. Florida is four points up on both Washington and Buffalo with each of the three teams having four games left (both the Capitals and Sabres play Saturday night).

"We put ourselves in a good situation," said defenseman Brian Campbell. "We have four games left here to really pour it on and everybody knows what's at stake."

The relevance of the games in competing for that playoff spot should be all that the team needs to push them through the final week.

"It's the NHL. This is where everybody dreams to be is to be in a playoff race, chasing that spot and have a good run at the Stanley Cup," said defenseman Erik Gudbranson. "As a young kid, you still feel that dream. It's something else."

"It's enjoyable to go out and play in games like this," said Dineen. "This is what we are looking forward to is playing games that matter and that are, as I've said all year, relevant this time of year...It's still going to be throttle down to the end of the season."

All of that starts against Detroit on Sunday. The Wings come in with the West's fifth best record but haven't had the greatest of March's. Detroit is 4-8-2 in the month and has dropped their last two games, 4-2 in Columbus and 4-1 at home to Nashville.

"Go out there work hard," said Campbell of the Panthers final four games. "Work hard, work smart. Things will come."

"When we're playing our game, we're as good as any team in this league," said Gudbranson. "We just need to get to that point and play at that level for the next four games and get as many points as we can."

"We know we have the right players that can go on and compete with any team in the league," said Dineen. "We'll be well tested on Sunday."

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

 
FloridaPanthers.com is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and floridapanthers.com are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks and NHL Draft name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.