The Florida Panthers are running out of time.
After last night’s 5-2 loss to the Rangers at BB&T Center, the Panthers have just 17 games left to leapfrog the Lightning, Flyers, Maple Leafs, and Islanders and grab the second wild-card spot in the East.
Since sweeping a five-game road trip, it’s been a tremendously disappointing stretch for the Panthers. They have just one win in their last seven, and six of those games were at home.
Last night, they were the rested team, hosting a Rangers side that had played the night before in Tampa. But it was the visitors who struck with two goals in the first period. After that, the Panthers were chasing, and they never could catch up.
“We’re still a young team trying to learn how to win and then play against real good competition,” said interim coach Tom Rowe, per the Sun-Sentinel.
“Our defensive mistakes were glaring and they capitalized on them. We got great chances, which we definitely did, but their goaltender came up with great saves when he had to.”
It’s estimated that the Panthers will need to go around 11-4-2 to give themselves a good shot of making the playoffs.
That’s doable for this group, but it’s not likely.