Pan­thers have sights on Devils in play­off chase

Af­ter 8-game home win streak ends, Florida starts anew.

The Palm Beach Post - - SPORTS -

SUN­RISE — The streak is over. The play­off chase is far from over.

Matt Duchense and Mag­nus Paa­jarvi scored two goals each as the Ot­tawa Sen­a­tors snapped the Florida Pan­thers’ fran­chise-record eight game home win­ning streak with a 5-3 win on Mon­day night at the BB&T Cen­ter.

Florida’s Alek­sander Barkov nearly gave the Pan­thers their fi­first lead of the game when he got a break­away, short­handed at­tempt with 5:51 left in the third pe­riod. But Barkov failed to fool Ot­tawa goalie Craig An­der­son, a Broward County res­i­dent and a for­mer Pan­ther.

Af­ter Barkov came up empty, Duchense scored the game win­ner with 3: 00 re­main­ing in the third. Jean-Gabriel Pageau added an in­sur­ance goal 75 sec­onds later.

But the Pan­thers are still in good shape. With 75 points, the Pan­thers were three points out of the fi­fi­nal

Eastern Con­fer­ence wild­card play­off spot, held by the New Jersey Devils (78 points), go­ing into play Tues­day night.

The Colum­bus Blue Jack­ets ( 79 points) won their fi­fifth straight game on Mon­day night and are mak­ing a state­ment that they will not be easy to catch.

The Devils, who are one game into a bru­tal six-game road trip that goes all the way out­west be­fore head­ing all the way east for a game against the two-time de­fend­ing Stan­ley Cup cham­pion Pitts­burgh Pen­guins, ap­pear to be the team most vul­ner­a­ble to the Pan­thers.

Florida also has two games in hand over the Devils and three over Colum­bus.

Notes: Vin­cent Trocheck took a hard hit from Ot­tawa right winger Tom Py­att and left the ice brieflfly in the sec­ond pe­riod. But Trocheck came back and fifin­ished with two as­sists.

He was Florida’s best player on the night, twice mak­ing the key play to tie the score.

With 2:32 left in the sec­ond pe­riod, Trocheck made a great move along the right boards, con­trol­ling the puck and then fir­ing a cross-ice pass to Mike Mathe­son to tie the score 2-2.

Then, with4:23 ex­pired in the third, Trocheck made a pin­point pass to se­tupon the door step to tie the score 3-3....

Be­fore the game, Sen­a­tors goalie Craig An­der­son hosted the state cham­pi­onship hockey team from Stone­man Dou­glas High, leav­ing 60 tick­ets for the play­ers and their fam­i­lies.

The en­tire Sen­a­tors team showed up to greet the Dou­glas kids, han ding them signed jer­seys.

An­der­son’s wife, Ni­cholle, was also there. She an­nounced in May of 2017 that she was free of throat cancer. She is a teacher in the Dou­glas school sys­tem. ... Pan­thers winger De­nis Mal­gin, who had missed seven games due to a knee in­jury, re­turned to ac­tion and was placed on the sec­ond line with Trocheck and Hu­berdeau.

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