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The Panthers dropped their last two and now have to be worried about the health of Aleksander Barkov. He took a big hit in the 3-0 loss to the Red Wings and could be sidelined for multiple games. That leaves a huge hole in their lineup.
General manager Dale Tallon has an interesting situation on his hands. His team is not only competitive, but looks like they could win the Atlantic. Is there a deal out there that makes them stronger for the playoffs? It has to be explored, at least.
The Panthers have done a lot of amazing things this season, but beating last year's Stanley Cup finalists in consecutive games was among the most impressive. It hadn't been done by any team since 1990-91.
The Panthers have come crashing back to earth after they rattled off 12 straight wins. Four straight losses have chipped away at the cushion the team had built for the Atlantic Division lead, but they're still on top.
The Panthers' franchise record 12-game winning streak was a sight to behold. It ended Monday, but not before Florida built up a six-point cushion for first in the Atlantic. Roberto Luongo and Jaromir Jagr continue to be the driving forces of this team.
The unlikely darlings of the NHL have won nine straight, extended their lead on the Atlantic Division and have everyone wondering if they're for real. The underlying numbers suggest reason to view Florida with caution, but they're rolling right now.
The surprise team of the NHL held first place for a day in the Atlantic and may get it back soon. They closed a 15-point gap on the Canadiens in a month. Meanwhile, young forward Aleksander Barkov is on his way to a breakout season. Everyone already knew he was good, but now the points are coming, too.
Florida is one of the hottest teams in the league with five wins in their last six, including four straight. They're getting goals from throughout the lineup and finding ways to win some big games. Roberto Luongo has been one of the unsung heroes of this team, too.
The Panthers have been fascinating for so many reasons this season, but their recent five-game winning streak was a big surprise. They ran through so many teams ahead of them in the standings and showed glimpses of a team putting it all together.
Florida is getting healthy and it's showing after back-to-back wins over the Islanders and Red Wings. Roberto Luongo is still playing at a high level at 36 (.924 save percentage).
Preseason Power Rankings
The Panthers are going to be a fun team to watch all year. The youngsters look up to the task to keeping Florida in the playoff conversation and it doesn't hurt that Jaromir Jagr looks good early.
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