The Florida Panthers kept their faint playoff hopes alive on Thursday with a crushing 6-1 victory over Carolina. Along the way, Jaromir Jagr collected his 721st career goal and 1,077th career assist.
Those 1,798 points put him in a tie with Ron Francis for fourth place on the NHL’s all-time scoring leaderboard. Francis joined the Pittsburgh Penguins during Jagr’s rookie campaign with the franchise and the two played together until the 1998-99 campaign.
Jagr turned 43 on Feb. 15, but he has still managed to score 16 goals and 43 points in 73 contests in 2014-15. To put that in perspective, of players who were 42 or older by Feb. 1 of the applicable campaign, Gordie Howe is the all-time single season leader with 52 points. Jagr is just the fifth player to get at least 43 points in a season at 42 (again, by Feb. 1) or older along with Mark Recchi, Igor Larionov, and Mark Messier, per Hockey Reference.
“Nobody really gives those kids any credit,” said Jagr of the young team in Florida. “How young they are, they’re so talented. They’re going to surprise the league in two years. They might win the cup the way and they’re going to get better and better. They don’t even have to do anything and they’re going to get better.”
Jussi Jokinen and Dave Bolland had the other Panthers goals while Dan Ellis made 25 saves for the win.
Florida has points in three straight games and five of their last six.
Senators captain Erik Karlsson scored his 20th of the season and Jean-Gabriel Pageau had the other for Ottawa. The Sens have lost three straight for the first time since Feb. 3-7.
Craig Anderson made his second straight start and made 33 saves in the loss.
After all, the Panthers are still trying to claw their way into the playoffs.
“This is too important a time; we’ll get to it when time is right,” Tallon told the Miami Herald.
“We’ll talk after the season. … He has interest [in staying] but is a free agent on July 1. He’ll make up his mind when he makes up his mind. From what I’ve seen and what has gone on, it would be tremendous to have him back here.”
Jagr has two goals and 10 points in 13 games with the Florida Panthers and has tried to be a mentor for his linemates, 21-year-old Jonathan Huberdeau and 19-year-old Aleksander Barkov.
Florida is four points behind the Boston Bruins in the battle for the second Wild Card seed with seven games remaining in each team’s schedule.