The Florida Panthers clinched the Eastern Conference’s top seed when they beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 at FLA Live Arena on Thursday, tying a franchise record with their 12th consecutive win. After the Toronto Maple Leafs fell 8-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning later Thursday, the Panthers (56-15-16) clinched the top seed in the Atlantic Division. The Florida Panthers have a two-point lead over the Colorado Avalanche in the NHL standings.
Last six games in Florida Panthers
In each of its last six games, Florida Panthers have allowed no more than two goals. For the Panthers, Mason had a goal and an assist, Aleksander Barkov scored his 39th goal of the season, and Noel Acciari scored after missing 10 games due to an unexplained ailment. The Red Wings (30-38-10) got goals from Sam Gagner and Tyler after a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Alex Nedeljkovic had a 22-save performance. At 4:08 of the first period, Gagner gave Detroit a 1-0 lead, but Acciari tied it up at 9:19. Late in the period, Barkov and Marchment scored 46 seconds apart to give the Panthers a 3-1 lead.
“Right now, we’re undermanned,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “I thought we needed to play the right way, and we did it in the first period, but then it’s 3-1, which is bad because we needed to be perfect in our game, which we weren’t.”
Barkov, who had a hat trick in Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime victory over the New York Islanders, gave Florida a 2-1 lead at 18:53 with a wrist shot from the high slot on the power play. Marchment made it 3-1 after a goal-mouth scramble when the ball rebounded in off a skate at 19:39.
The Panthers, that haven’t won since March 27, also won 12 games in a row in the previous season. During the streak, six of the victories were by at least three goals. Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves as Jonathan Huberdeau tied Connor McDavid for the NHL. Record with 113 points (30 goals, 83 assists).
Florida goals in the NHL
This season, Florida has 322 goals, the most in the NHL since 1995-96. This is when Pittsburgh (362), Colorado (326), and Detroit (325) all had more goals. Filip Zadina, a Detroit forward, was a late scratch due to sickness. Pius Suter of the Red Wings had two assists. Panthers forward Joe Thornton, who had been a healthy scratch. For the previous seven games, played 11:25 and got an assist.
Coach Andrew Brunette stated, “He’s been pretty good lately.” “With the puck, I don’t know if it’s a magnet to him, but it follows him around. You can’t get it off him, and if you do, he gets it back right away. Kind of epitomizes his goal. I mean, that epitomizes ‘Marchie’ in general just how that went in. And was kind of reckless and all over the place and it works.”
With a wrist shot from the proper circle that slid barely under the crossbar at 6:15 of the playing period, Bertuzzi made it 3-2. At 16:05, Weegar made it 4-2 by redirecting Marchment’s backhand pass into the online.
After Oskar Sundqvist was given a significant and a game penalty for slashing defenseman Lucas Carlsson’s hand. Sam Reinhart made it 5-2 at 3:50 of the play on a five-minute endeavor.