The Florida Panthers are on a roll


Yesterday in Sunrise, Jaromir Jagr passed Marcel Dionne to become the NHL’s fourth-leading goalscorer of all time, behind only Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, and Brett Hull.

That was the story everyone was talking about, and rightly so.

But you know what else happened? Florida won its fourth straight, beating Vancouver in a shootout. With 10 wins in their last 13, the Panthers have climbed to within three points of first-place Montreal in the Atlantic Division.

“The goal is sweet but the win is even sweeter,” Jagr told the Miami Herald.

And things could get even sweeter soon. The Panthers have five straight home games to add to their three-point playoff cushion. Ottawa pays a visit Tuesday, followed by the Christmas break. Then it’s Columbus, Montreal, New York (Rangers), and Minnesota.

Remember that this is a team that came into the season with high expectations for itself. The Panthers may not have received much national attention, but there was good reason to believe they could make a run at the postseason.

“It’s really all about the playoffs for our team; nothing beneath that will be acceptable,” goalie Roberto Luongo said over the summer.

“I think as a group we realize that and demand that of ourselves.”

Related: New Panthers jerseys, logo will look ‘completely different’