Jagr earns high praise in his Panthers debut

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Jaromir Jagr’s first game with the Florida Panthers on Saturday was not statistically noteworthy. Although his team earned a 5-3 victory over Buffalo, Jagr recorded no points, had three shots on goal, and a minus-one rating in 17:09 minutes of ice time. His new team couldn’t be happier with the player they got though.

“He was outstanding,” coach Gerard Gallant told the Miami Herald. “He makes your team a lot better, gives your team a a lot of confidence.”

Jagr was credited with playing a leadership role too. While he was on the ice, 23-year-old forward Brandon Pirri scored back-to-back power-play goals just 1:21 minutes apart.

“He told me to shoot the puck, said ‘you got it’,” Pirri said. “I knew I had to be the shooter there, [Brian Campbell] put it in my wheelhouse and I teed off on it.”

Pirri now has 11 goals in 29 contests this season.

“At my age, I feel like I know a lot of things, but I just cannot do it anymore. So it’s just a lot easier to tell them what to do, because they still got the legs and hands to do it,” Jagr said about his new role on the young team, per the Panthers’ website.

The New Jersey Devils traded Jagr to Florida in exchange for a 2015 second-round pick and conditional 2016 third rounder on Thursday.

This was an important two points for the Panthers, but their work is far from done. They’re still four points behind Boston in the Wild Card race as the Bruins also won today.