Joined: Jun 14, 2018
|Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:31 am Post subject: Panthers in a trade with Boston o
| SUNRISE , Fla. (AP) The Florida Panthers are still alive for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Theyâ€™re going to need some help, though.
Jared McCann scored with 5:37 left and Roberto Luongo got the win in his 1,000th career game, helping the Panthers stay in contention with a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.
The Panthers trail the Philadelphia Flyers by four points for the final Eastern Conference wild card and have two games remaining, including a matchup Sunday night with Boston. Florida needs to win both games and have the Flyers lose to the New York Rangers in regulation Saturday.
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â€ťIt would be nice to control our own fate, but we donâ€™t have that luxury,â€ť coach Bob Boughner said. â€ťWho knows whatâ€™s going to happen, but we know we have a job to do. Letâ€™s just hope that we are in a situation Saturday when the puck drops weâ€™ve got a chance to make the playoffs.â€ť
The Panthers were also chasing the Devils and Blue Jackets, but both teams clinched playoff spots with victories Thursday.
The 39-year-old Luongo became the third goalie to reach the 1 ,000-game mark, joining Hall of Famers Martin Brodeur (1,266) and Patrick Roy (1,029). Luongo is the 322nd player to reach the milestone overall. He stopped 26 shots Thursday.
â€ťIt wasnâ€™t easy. I was feeling a little bit sluggish today for some reason, but tell you what, the boys probably played their best game of the year,â€ť Luongo said. â€ťThatâ€™s the best gift the boys could have given me.â€ť
Aleksander Barkov scored his 100th career goal, and Floridaâ€™s Frank Vatrano scored a goal against his former team.
Barkov left the game with 6:51 left in the third period with an apparent upper-body injury after he was checked hard into the boards by Colby Cave. McCann took his spot on the top line and was able to make an impact.
â€ťI was ready to go,â€ť McCann said. â€ťI look for those opportunities every day. I was able to step up.â€ť
There wasnâ€™t an update on Barkov after the game.
â€ťI know the doctors are back there checking him out , so I donâ€™t have anything as of now. It didnâ€™t look great when he was going off the ice, to be honest,â€ť Boughner said.
Danton Heinen and Ryan Donato scored for the Bruins. Tuukka Rask stopped 32 shots.
â€ťYeah, a tough start,â€ť Rask said. â€ťThey came to play, thatâ€™s not a surprise to anybody. Theyâ€™re fighting for their lives and need every point they can get. You have to be ready for that and we werenâ€™t.â€ť
The Bruins have lost three straight, their longest losing streak since a four-game skid from November 8-15.
â€ťYou donâ€™t want to go into the playoffs limping,â€ť Rask said. â€ťYou want to go in full stride and thatâ€™s something we have to fix the last two games.â€ť
Boston remains tied with Tampa Bay for the lead in the Atlantic Division, but Tampa owns the tiebreaker. Each team has two games left.
â€ťWeâ€™ve got one out of six points on this trip ,â€ť coach Bruce Cassidy said. â€ťThatâ€™s what happens in this league, I donâ€™t care what teams you play. A bad formula to play from behind. Guys have to be ready to go when the puck drops. Thatâ€™s something we have to look to correct.â€ť
McCann tipped in the winner off Mike Mathesonâ€™s shot from the left side.
The Bruins tied it at 2 on Heinenâ€™s goal 2:11 into the second period. After a defensive turnover, David Krejci passed across to Heinen, who beat Luongo on the stick side.
Trailing 2-0, the Bruins closed to 2-1 on a power-play goal by Donato, who corralled a bouncing puck in front and swept it behind Luongo with 4:41 left in the first.
The Panthers took a 1-0 lead on Barkovâ€™s goal. Evgenii Dadonov made a nice pass from the right side to Barkov, who tucked the puck into the corner of the net at 7:42.
The Panthers went ahead 2-0 after Vatrano, acquired by the Panthers in a trade with Boston on Feb. 22, poked in a rebound at 9:34.
NOTES: Bruins F Brad Marchand played in his 600th NHL game. â€¦ Donato has eight points in his first 10 NHL games. â€¦ A video tribute to Luongoâ€™s 1 ,000-game mark, midway through the first period, drew a standing ovation, including from Bruins players.
Bruins: Hosts Ottawa on Saturday night.
Panthers: Hosts Buffalo on Saturday night.
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