|FLA||2||2||1||(0 - 0)||5|
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GAME: Florida Panthers (32-30-9) at Pittsburgh Penguins (18-41-12).
TIME: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
The Florida Panthers look to match their franchise-record winning streak at seven games, and continue their late push for a playoff berth when they visit a Pittsburgh Penguins team they've beaten 11 straight times.
Florida has moved to within striking distance of the final three playoff spots in the Eastern Conference by winning six straight and nine of its last 10 games. The Panthers won a team-record seven in a row from Nov. 2-14, 1995.
"We don't look at it as a run right now," Panthers winger Jozef Stumpel said after a 4-3 shootout victory in Boston on Monday. "We just look at it as win after win. We're still in a chase."
Roberto Luongo stopped all three Bruins in the shootout and Olli Jokinen scored the lone goal of the tiebreaker when the puck trickled in after hitting Boston goalie Tim Thomas as he fell to the ice.
"He saved it," Jokinen said. "I don't know how it went in. It hit his stick or his pad. It was kind of a fluky goal."
It was the Panthers' third shootout victory in the last 10 games after going 1-4 in the tiebreaker prior to their surge.
Stumpel has eight goals and 16 points in the last 10 games, while Jokinen has 10 goals and 10 assists in his last 12 contests against the Penguins.
Florida has outscored Pittsburgh 46-19 in winning 11 straight in the series since a 6-5 overtime loss on March 5, 2002.
The Penguins scored five goals on Sunday, but came away with a 6-5 loss to Montreal. Colby Armstrong had two goals and Sidney Crosby added two assists for Pittsburgh, which has lost three of its last four and has an NHL-low 48 points.
"They scored some power play goals on us early and that definitely hurt us," Armstrong said. "We battled back and we were right there. I think we had our chances."
Pittsburgh rookie defenseman Noah Welch scored his first goal and added an assist in just his second NHL game.
STANDINGS: Panthers - 73 points, 4th place, 27 PB, Southeast Division. Penguins - 48 points, 5th place, 44 PB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Panthers - Jokinen, 33 goals, 44 assists and 77 points; Chris Gratton, 94 PIM. Penguins - Crosby, 32 goals, 48 assists and 80 points; Brooks Orpik, 114 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Panthers - Power play: 15.5 percent (56 for 362), 24th in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.2 percent (366 for 440), 14th. Penguins - Power play: 18.2 percent (79 for 434), 12th. Penalty killing: 78.0 percent (369 for 473), 30th.
GOALTENDERS: Panthers - Luongo (31-26-9, 4 SO, 2.95 GAA); Jamie McLennan (1-4-0, 2.95). Penguins - Marc-Andre Fleury (11-24-5, 1, 3.28); Sebastien Caron (6-7-4, 4.33).
SEASON SERIES: Panthers, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 25; Panthers, 6-3. At Sunrise, Fla., Jokinen scored twice in the first period as the Panthers jumped out to a 4-1 lead, and completed a hat trick in the second.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Panthers - 10-21-5 on the road; Penguins - 10-20-7 at home.