The winning streak continues.
The Florida Panthers have won 11 games in a row. Despite being badly outshot and relying on another goalie Roberto Luongo for another great performance, the Panthers defeated the Ottawa Senators by a final score of 3-2 on Thursday.
While leaning heavily on Luongo — he stopped 30 of 32 shots versus Ottawa — the Panthers were also opportunistic, burying their chances even if they were held to only 16 shots on goal.
Reilly Smith and Vincent Trocheck scored eight seconds apart in the first period to give the Panthers the lead. They tested Craig Anderson with only four shots on goal in the opening period.
“I don’t think by any means that was our best game,” Luongo told NHL.com. “It was probably one of our worst in the last 11, but for some reason or another right now we’re finding ways to win games, so it’s nice. We’ll take them.”
And from there, it was the Luongo Show. In his last three starts, the 36-year-old netminder has faced 102 shots. He’s allowed only two goals and that’s only a very small sample size of the work he’s done this season for Florida.
And when the Panthers needed a third period goal to increase their lead, which they would eventually have to hang on to, it was the trio of Jaromir Jagr, Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau that provided it.
Robyn Regehr is about to officially call it a career. He will retire as a member of the Calgary Flames at a press conference on Monday.
Word of his possible retirement began last spring when the L.A. Kings failed to make the Stanley Cup playoffs. In fact, it had been reported that he had announced immediately following L.A.’s final regular season game that he was concluding his playing career.
Regehr played 11 seasons in Calgary and was part of that team’s surprise run to the Stanley Cup Final — the Flames fell one win short of the ultimate prize — in 2004. He has also played the second most games in Flames franchise history, at 826.
He then went on to play for the Buffalo Sabres, before spending the final three seasons of his playing career with the Kings.
His career culminated with a Stanley Cup in 2014.
Cal Clutterbuck has snapped back at Lindy Ruff after the Dallas Stars coach accused the New York Islanders forward of diving following Sunday’s game.
Need a refresher?
Stars’ defenseman Jason Demers was ejected for a hit on Clutterbuck in the second period of that game, prompting Ruff to say the following about the incident:
“I think the guy who got hit has a history of diving,” Ruff said, as per the Dallas Morning News.
“I looked at the play, and don’t think [Demers] elbowed him, I don’t think he did anything, really. And [Clutterbuck] didn’t seem to be hurt, but he sold it pretty good. Maybe [Demers] deserved a minor penalty, that’s my take on it.”
Based on comments made to Newsday Long Island, a number of Islanders, including head coach Jack Capuano, took exception with what Ruff said about Clutterbuck, who was fined $2,000 by the NHL last January for diving.
“I just find it disrespectful,” Clutterbuck told Newsday.
“I’ve played a lot of games in the league to this point, the hit itself — if anyone looks at the replay, it’s completely unnecessary. I get my head driven into the board by a knee or a thigh. I reacted to the amount of pain I was in. To embellish a hit like that, I’d have to come up with something pretty quickly while I’m in pain, so I just don’t care for the comments. That’s the road he chose.”
The Islanders and Stars meet again on March 19 in Dallas.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
— The Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets tied an NHL record by scoring goals two seconds apart on Tuesday. Nick Foligno scored for Columbus at the 19:44 mark of the third period, and Mikael Granlund followed that up for Minnesota on the ensuing faceoff, scoring into an empty net at 19:46. Below is a brief explanation on the more technical aspect of the record:
— Nice moment here as the Calgary Flames and Tampa Bay Lightning, and the fans in Calgary, paid tribute to veteran linesman Mike Cvik, who was officiating his last NHL game Tuesday after a 29-year career. (Calgary Sun)
— Hurricanes goalie Eddie Lack is expected to start Wednesday in Vancouver against his old team, the Canucks. A popular figure with the fans of Vancouver, some ex-teammates didn’t have much to say when asked about Lack or his return to Rogers Arena ice. (The Province)
— “So we’ve got to be disappointed,” said Claude Julien after depleted Bruins lose to Washington Capitals. (CSNNE.com)
— Fans voting John Scott into the All-Star Game is, according to one columnist, “less a proud moment for fan interaction than a plea for help.” (Sportsnet)
While one Florida-based NHL team remains the hottest team in the league, the second is approaching the midway mark of its schedule searching for answers and sitting on the outside of the playoff picture.
The Florida Panthers are winners of 10 in a row. The Tampa Bay Lightning, the Eastern Conference representative in last year’s Stanley Cup Final, lost to the Calgary Flames by a score of 3-1 on Tuesday and is currently two points back of the Boston Bruins for the final Wild Card spot.
Steven Stamkos scored to cut Calgary’s lead in half early in the third period, but Tampa Bay couldn’t beat Karri Ramo for the tying goal.
Ramo stopped 30 of the 31 shots he faced.
As far as the Lightning is concerned, controversy has leaked into the headlines this season, whether it’s the Stamkos contract situation and trade rumors, or Jonathan Drouin’s now public trade request (read about it here and here and here), or underachieving in the standings.
On the verge of Game 41 of the season, which comes against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday, Tampa Bay have three teams ahead of them — Pittsburgh, Ottawa and Boston — in the East standings.
“Lately, we feel like we’re playing well,” said Lightning head coach Jon Cooper, as per the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s two steps forward and one step back. We need to go on a run.”
— Stamkos wants Bolts to be ‘pissed off with the situation that we are in’