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Jagr set on guiding Panthers to Stanley Cup

Veteran forward, who hasn't scored in 35 straight playoff games, focusing on leadership role with Florida

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- Thirty-five Stanley Cup Playoff games have come and gone since Florida Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr has scored a goal.

He couldn't care less.

That was his attitude after he set up Teddy Purcell's power-play goal in the second period for his 200th career postseason point in the Panthers' 2-1 win against the New York Islanders in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Barclays Center on Wednesday.

The Panthers head home tied 2-2 in this best-of-7 series that resumes Friday at BB&T Center (8 p.m. ET; CNBC, TVA Sports, SN, SUN, MSG+).

Video: Jagr not concerned with milestone, just wants the Cup

Jagr, whose assist Wednesday is his lone point in the series, is far more concerned with Florida advancing in the postseason than individual achievements.

"Do you remember who scored goals 10 years ago? I don't," Jagr, 44, said. "I don't even remember who won the Cup, to be honest with you. It's everything about the Cup. Who cares (if I score)? I want to help of course, but nobody remembers next year. Only the champions."

Jagr had four shots on goal in Game 4 and has yet to convert on any of his 13 that have reached Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss. But he insists he's not frustrated, particularly after helping the Panthers regain home-ice advantage Wednesday.

"I don't force anything," Jagr said. "I've scored enough goals. If I don't score any ever (again), I'll be happy with my hockey career. I don't worry about it."

Video: FLA@NYI, Gm4: Jagr finds Purcell to open the scoring

Neither does Panthers coach Gerard Gallant, who is grateful for the leadership Jagr has provided to a relatively young team. Jagr and his teammates controlled the play in a scoreless first period, stuck to the gameplan and broke through when Jagr found Purcell in front with 4:42 left in the second.

"He played real well," Gallant said of Jagr. "There's nobody that played bad tonight. I thought he made a real good play on the goal. I thought he worked hard tonight, and that's what it's all about. When you work hard and show the kids the way, and we've been doing that for two years with our club. It's a lot of fun when you see the young kids play the way they're playing, and give a lot of credit to those older veteran guys, because they're really good for them."

Jagr won the Stanley Cup twice with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and 1992, and came within two wins of a third championship with the Boston Bruins in 2013 despite not scoring a goal in 22 games that postseason. There's nothing he'd rather do than guide these Panthers, who he led in scoring during the regular season with 66 points in 79 games, to the Cup.

"There's only one thing I care about," Jagr said. "There's a lot of guys counting on me to help, and I just don't want to disappoint them. I just want to be the best so people trust in me. That's all I worry about. It's nothing personal. I just want to be here and help. That's what I really worry about, just somehow help."

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