Panthers maintain their momentum
The Florida Panthers picked up their sixth win in a row on Sunday with a 4-1 defeat of the Philadelphia Flyers at the BB & T Center in Sunrise.
Evgenii Dadonov scored twice and Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau were also on target for the hosts, with Travis Konecny grabbing a consolation for the Flyers late in the third.
Florida also won the season series with the victory and is now 13-3 since picking up a victory over the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn at the end of January.
That surge has not imperilled the Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs above them in the Atlantic Division, with all three on track to claim the automatic places for the post-season.
Rather, as the Metropolitan Division has engaged in a dog-eat-dog battle of beating up on each other, the Panthers have moved to within a point of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second Wild Card in the Eastern Conference.
Tuesday Florida travels to take on the Lightning at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, before heading home for what sets up as the Panthers' most important home stand of the campaign.
The Montreal Canadiens arrive on Thursday, with the New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Bruins and Edmonton Oilers to follow.
It's not an easy schedule down the stretch for Florida by any means, as the Panthers play the Bruins a total of four times and there are also games against the Maple Leafs and the Nashville Predators.
More importantly, and potentially crucially, Florida also travels to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets later in the month.
The Panthers are 4999/1 to win the Eastern Conference, with the Bruins 4999/1 and the Maple Leafs 4999/1.
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