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Sport Panthers beat Rangers, set franchise record with eighth straight home win

07:10  11 march  2018
07:10  11 march  2018 Source:   latimes.com

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SUNRISE, Fla. - For eight consecutive home games - including Saturday night's 4-3 shootout win over the New York Rangers - the Florida Panthers orchestrated a symphony of victories, of last-second wins, of blowout thrashings, of goaltending excellence and of offensive firepower.

They stole games from elite teams and buried inferior ones. They executed on the power play and off the rush. Simply, the Panthers were nearly unbeatable at home since the All-Star break.

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TORONTO — A night of both franchise and personal milestones saw Mitchell Marner once again lead the charge for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The slick winger had a goal and an assist in Wednesday’s first-period barrage before Toronto held on to defeat the Florida Panthers 4-3 and set a new club record

Florida Panthers coach Bob Boughner didn't even see the winning goal. Vincent Trocheck scored the deciding goal in the shootout to lift the Panthers to a 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Saturday night for their franchise - record eighth straight home win . '

BOX SCORE: PANTHERS 4, RANGERS 3

With Saturday night's win against the Rangers, the Panthers set a new franchise record for consecutive home wins with eight. The previous high was seven straight games, set in 2015-16, when the Panthers won the Atlantic Division championship.

Frank Vatrano scored a goal in his Panthers debut as Jonathan Huberdeau and Jamie McGinn also scored for the Panthers. Roberto Luongo withstood a strong Rangers attack in the first period to steady the Panthers and finish with 34 saves on Saturday night.

Vincent Trocheck scored the game-deciding goal for the Panthers in the third round of the shootout.

The win was Florida's 15th in 19 games since the All-Star break. Since the break, the Panthers are 10-1-0 at the BB&T Center and the team has not lost consecutive home games since early December.

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The Leafs set a new franchise record with their 10th straight home win . A shootout win over the Rangers was Florida’s eighth in a row at home , establishing a new team record . The top scorers in those games were Evgenii Dadonov (6-6-12) and Aleksander Barkov (5-7-12).

The Panthers also improved to 22-0-0 when leading after two periods. Florida entered the day three points behind New Jersey for the second Eastern Conference wild card spot with three games in hand. The Devils played at Nashville on Saturday night.

The Rangers largely controlled the first period, firing 15 shots on goal at Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo in the period. They had three shots in the first 90 seconds and seven of the game's first eight shots. Kevin Hayes forced Luongo to make a save on a shorthanded breakaway.

But New York couldn't break through. So even when they were outplayed, the Panthers entered the dressing room with a lead courtesy of Huberdeau.

Huberdeau scored with just 15 seconds remaining in the first period, tapping home a loose rebound on a power play. After Vincent Trocheck challenged Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist with a shot, the puck squeaked behind him and laid in the crease. Huberdeau pounced on the puck for his 22nd goal of the season.

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Vatrano extended the lead 8:13 into the second period with his first goal since Nov. 11. After recovering from a high-ankle sprain that kept him on injured reserve, Vatrano skated on the second line with Huberdeau and Trocheck on Saturday night.

The trio enjoyed an extended possession in the Rangers zone before Trocheck fed Vatrano a no-look, backhanded pass from the corner. Vatrano easily scored his third goal of the season, injecting offense into the second line that has been partially missing since Denis Malgin suffered a knee injury on Feb. 24.

The Rangers scored the next two goals, with Mats Zuccarello scoring with less than seven minutes left in the second period and Mika Zibanejad scoring just 17 seconds into the third period.

McGinn answered Zibanejad's goal 45 seconds later by slamming home a rebound in the slot. Kevin Hayes tied the game with 7:25 left by sneaking a shot past Luongo's blocker side inside the post.

The Panthers are amid perhaps the most favorable part of their schedule. They swept a six-game homestand that ended on Sunday. A brief trip to Tampa on Tuesday wedged itself between that season-long homestand and the current five-game one.

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The win , Toronto's 12th straight , marks a new franchise record . (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press). Ibaka connected for the go-ahead basket, as the Toronto Raptors overcame a 19-point deficit to beat the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, setting a franchise record with their 12th consecutive

Follow live NY Rangers at Florida coverage at Yahoo! Sports. Find the latest NY Rangers at Sports Home . Vincent Trocheck scored the deciding goal in the shootout to lift the Panthers to a 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Saturday night for their franchise - record eighth straight home win .

The Rangers are one of a series of non-playoff teams the Panthers will face soon. Florida faces Ottawa three times, plus bottom-feeders Edmonton, Arizona and Buffalo in the final 17 games.

Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at www.sun-sentinel.com

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