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Cats & Coffee: Looking Ahead to Win No. 901

by Jameson Olive / @FlaPanthers / FloridaPanthers.com

Good morning and welcome to "Cats & Coffee," a weekly segment, presented by Koffee Kult, in which we serve up an exciting look at what's on deck for your Florida Panthers. Like our friends at Koffee Kult, this forecast serves up only the best -- so sit back, sip and enjoy our latest brew of news, notes and information!

After becoming just the second head coach in NHL history to win 900 career games, Joel Quenneville chuckled and quickly brushed off a question about looking ahead to 1,000 wins following the Florida Panthers' 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

"We're looking for [win] 901 right now," he grinned. "That's the way we look at it."

In speaking with Panthers players, Quenneville's attitude seems to have been adopted by the entire team. Win or lose, they quickly turn the page to the next challenge. No matter if they've had a great game, a bad game or reached a big milestone, 24 hours later everyone moves on.

"You can't get too high after a couple wins, can't get too low after a loss," Panthers center Vincent Trocheck said last week. "Good teams don't lose two in a row. That's how we feel."

With 20 games now in the books, the Panthers have been able to do just that.

Sitting at 10-5-5 and entering the week occupying third place in the Atlantic Division, they've won three of their last four games and have still yet to lose two straight games in regulation.

Lighting it up on offense, Florida owns the league's fifth-ranked offense (3.55 goals per game) and fourth-ranked power play (26.6). They've scored at least one power play goal in each of the last nine games, with a team-high four of those goals coming from captain Aleksander Barkov.

Barkov ranks second on the team in scoring 25 points, trailing only Jonathan Huberdeau's 27. With three assists in Saturday's win in over the Rangers, Huberdeau broke a tie with Stephen Weiss to become the franchise's all-time assists leader with 252 (Weiss old mark was 249).

"It's an accomplishment. I'm really happy," said Huberdeau, who was drafted third overall by the Panthers in 2011. "I couldn't do it without a lot of the guys here like Barky and Daddy. It's good. It's been eight years [with Florida]. It's a good organization and good to be first in assists."

But, again, that's in the past now.

Turning their attention to this week's challenge, Florida is preparing for a slate of four games against the Philadelphia Flyers, Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres.

Here's everything you need to know for the week ahead…

THE GAMES

Tuesday: Philadelphia Flyers, 7:00 p.m.

The Panthers will get their first look at the boys from Broad Street this season when they host the Flyers (10-6-4) at BB&T Center on Tuesday. Philadelphia enters this week looking to shake out of a three-game losing streak after a 4-3 shootout loss against the New York Islanders on Saturday. The Flyers have been very stingy on defense as of late, surrendering no more than two goals in six out of their last seven contests. As of right now, both their defense (2.80 goals allowed per game) and penalty kill (84.2 percent) are among the top-10 in the league. On the offensive side of the puck, Travis Konecny leads the team in points (19), while Oskar Lindblom has the most goals (9). For the Panthers, keep an eye on Keith Yandle in this one. The 33-year-old veteran enters this week on a five-game point streak, registering one goal and nine assists in that span. Leading Florida's defensemen in scoring with 18 points, the gifted playmaker also ranks third among all NHL blueliners in assists (16) and tied for first in power-play points (11).

TV: FSF

Radio: 560 WQAM (DADE/BROWARD); 640 WMEN (PALM BEACH); 100.3 WCTH (FLORIDA KEYS); 1370 WAXE (TREASURE COAST) *WAXE START TIME 8:00 PM

In-Arena Activations: 50/50 Raffle; Nacho Tot Tuesday; Panther Conservation Night

Tickets: HERE 

Thursday: Anaheim Ducks, 7:00 p.m.

The Panthers will close out a four-game homestand when the Ducks (10-9-2) migrate east and make their lone visit of the season to BB&T Center on Thursday. Anaheim closed out last week with a 4-1 win at the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, ending a five-game losing skid. Over their last six games, the Ducks have struggled a little bit to keep the puck out of their own net, allowing 23 total goals in that span, or 3.83 goals per game on average. Jakob Silfverberg leads the team in both goals (9) and points (17); Rickard Rakell, Adam Henrique and Ryan Getzlaf are in a three-way tie for second with 14. Other than that, none of Anaheim's skaters have eclipsed 10 points yet, which could be due to the team's 30th-ranked power play at 9.1 percent. The Panthers, on the other hand, boast eight players with double-digit points, including Jonathan Huberdeau, who leads the team with 27 points (nine goals, 18 assists). On an absolute tear in recent weeks, the 26-year-old winger has posted six goals and 13 assists over his last 12 games, including a pair of three-assist performances. In 11 career games against the Ducks, he's notched 14 points.

TV: FSF

Radio: 560 WQAM (DADE/BROWARD); 640 WMEN (PALM BEACH); 100.3 WCTH (FLORIDA KEYS); 1370 WAXE (TREASURE COAST) *WAXE START TIME 8:00 PM

In-Arena Activations: 50/50 Raffle; $5 Beer Thursday; First Responders Night

Tickets: HERE

Saturday: at Carolina Hurricanes, 7:00 p.m.

The Panthers will get a one-game respite from their long homestand when they take a quick trip up to Raleigh to face the Hurricanes (12-7-1) at PNC Arena on Saturday. Entering the week on a three-game winning streak, Carolina is coming off a 4-3 overtime win at the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. During their streak, they've scored a combined 17 goals, with a team-leading three of them coming from Sebastian Aho. Overall, the duo of Andrei Svechnikov and Dougie Hamilton lead the Hurricanes in scoring with 22 points apiece. They're also tied with Aho for the most goals with nine. Looking for some revenge after suffering a 6-3 loss to Carolina at home on Oct. 8, the Panthers will likely turn to captain Aleksander Barkov to lead the charge on offense in this game. Ranking second on the team with 25 points, the 24-year-old center also ranks tied for fourth in the league with 19 assists. Heating up in the goal-scoring department, he's found the back of the net six times in his last eight games, while also chipping in six assists in that span. In 18 career games against the Hurricanes, Barkov has accumulated five goals and 12 assists.

TV: FSF

Radio: 99.9 FM HD-2 (DADE/BROWARD); 850 WFTL (PALM BEACH); 100.3 WCTH (FLORIDA KEYS); 1370 WAXE (TREASURE COAST) *WAXE START TIME 8:00 PM

Where to watch: Territory on Tap 

Sunday: Buffalo Sabres, 5:00 p.m.

The Panthers will return home and close out a back-to-back set with a very important divisional matchup against the Sabres (10-7-3) at BB&T Center on Sunday. Following a hot start, Buffalo, which enters the week trailing Florida by two points for third place in the Atlantic Division, have lost seven of their last eight games, including a 4-1 loss at the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. Jack Eichel, who netted four goals in a 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, leads the team in both goals (13) and points (24). That being said, Florida has historically done a great job of containing Eichel throughout his young career. In 14 career games against the Panthers, the 23-year-old forward has scored just one goal. Given that this game is the second half of a back-to-back, there's a good chance that backup goaltender Sam Montembeault gets the nod in net for Florida. In six games this season, the 23-year-old rookie owns a 3-1-1 record with a 2.96 goals-against average and .903 save percentage. All three of wins have come in the shootout, which leads the league. In the skills competition, he's stopped 10 of the 13 shooters he's faced.

TV: FSF

Radio: 790 WAXY (DADE/BROWARD); 850 WFTL (PALM BEACH); 100.3 WCTH (FLORIDA KEYS)

In-Arena Activations: 50/50 Raffle; Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Takeover Night

Tickets: HERE

MILESTONE WATCH

- Noel Acciari is three games away from his 200th NHL game.

- Keith Yandle is four goals away from his 100th NHL goal.

- Evgenii Dadonov is three assists away from his 100th NHL assist.

- Brian Boyle is four assists away from his 100th NHL assist.

PROSPECT SPOTLIGHT

Max Gildon is getting it done at the University of New Hampshire. In the midst of his junior season, the 20-year-old blueliner ranks tied for third in scoring among NCAA defensemen with 12 points in 10 games. Of the four goals that he's tallied this season - which is tied for third-most on the Wildcats - three of them have come while on the power play.

Tweet from @UNHMHOCKEY: Power Play Goal By Max Gildon! His third goal of the season. The Wildcats lead Merrimack 2-1 with 14:51 remaining in the third period! @FlaPanthers #BeTheRoar pic.twitter.com/NXnB5AtUf8

A third-round pick (66th overall) by the Panthers in the 2017 NHL Draft, Gildon has been the top-scoring defenseman during each of his first two full seasons at New Hampshire. Through the first 75 games of his collegiate career, he's registered 18 goals and 37 assists for 55 points.

PANTHER CONSERVATION NIGHT

In support of their endangered namesake, the Panthers will hold their fifth-annual Panther Conservation Night when they host the Philadelphia Flyers at BB&T Center on Tuesday.

The state's official animal since 1987, the Florida panther remains one of the most-endangered mammals in the world, with only an estimated 180 to 200 of them living in the wild as of 2017. As part of the festivities, local wildlife sanctuary Flamingo Gardens will receive a Community Champions Grant to help fund their conservation efforts throughout the South Florida region.

"We take great pride in supporting our organization's namesake," said John Colombo, the Senior Director of Florida Panthers Foundation and Community Relations. "We're proud to host the fifth annual Panther Conservation Night and to always find new ways to incorporate conservation and awareness into what we do all year long."

Eight organizations that work with the team in helping raise awareness for the panther will be in attendance at the game, including Zoo Miami, the Florida Wildlife Federation, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Palm Beach Zoo and Museum of Discovery and Science.

Fans who download the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Discovery and Science Mobile Application will also be able to take part in an augmented reality educational experience while at the game. You can read more about augmented reality and the museum's Panther Prowl Exhibit here

While you're at the arena, also make sure to check out the "Path of the Panther" mural, which was unveiled on the concourse last season and features incredible Florida panther imagery and information from conservation photographer Carlton Ward.

All tickets purchased through THIS LINK will benefit the Florida Panthers Foundation. 

THE RETURN OF THE HOLIDAY RINK

This holiday season, the Panthers want to you to enjoy skating and some sweets.

In what is quickly becoming one of the most unique traditions in South Florida, the team recently opened its annual outdoor holiday rink at Hoffman's Chocolates in Greenacres. The sheet of ice - yes, it's real - is part of Hoffman's Chocolates 29th Annual Winter Wonderland holiday display.

"We're excited to collaborate with Hoffman's Chocolates again this year to create the Holidays Ice Rink for the third year in a row at their Winter Wonderland in Greenacres," Panthers Chief Operating Officer Sean McCaffrey said in a release. "The Panthers are dedicated to introducing ice skating and the game of hockey to communities in the tri-county area and this gives families the opportunity to ice skate outside during the holiday season."

The 2,400 square foot outdoor rink officially opened on Nov. 16 and will run through Dec. 30.

The rinks hours of operation are as follows: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The rink will be closed on all Tuesdays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

If you'd like to hit the ice outdoors, general admission tickets are $15 including skate rentals, group admission (10+ skaters) is $13, military and first responders are $10 (valid ID required).

A portion of the proceeds from each ticket sold will benefit the Florida Panthers Foundation. For more information, please visit FloridaPanthers.com/HolidayRink.

CATS CLIP OF THE WEEK

If it weren't for this clip, last week's historic comeback win in Boston would still feel like a dream. 

Video: FLA@BOS: Panthers erase 4-0 deficit, win in SO

CATS IN THE COMMUNITY

https://twitter.com/JamesonCoop/status/1196212817977839616

https://twitter.com/SylvesterCancer/status/1195865570715033600

https://twitter.com/FlaPanthersCARE/status/1195109888969580544

TERRITORY TALK

On the latest episode of the Territory Talk podcast, Doug Plagens and Jameson Olive re-live the Panthers' historic comeback win in Boston last week. Additionally, NHL.com's Dan Rosen joins the show to talk about Florida's solid start and his recent conversation with Joel Quenneville.

COLD COFFEE (IN CASE YOU MISSED IT)

-- Today is the last day you can bid on player-worn Hockey Fights Cancer jerseys! 

Tweet from @FlaPanthersCARE: Bid now on these #FlaPanthers #HockeyFightsCancer warm-up worn jerseys! ������ https://t.co/iKzOkhLHwl pic.twitter.com/LTssPExYiF

-- Look back at Florida's milestone-filled win over the New York Rangers on Saturday. 

-- Check out Joel Quenneville's resume following his 900th win as an NHL head coach. 

-- The Panthers are hosting a First Responders Night on Nov. 21. 

-- After 19 seasons as an NHL goaltender, Roberto Luongo is a rookie once again. 

-- The "Sahlen's Red Hot Value Pack" is back and better than ever. 

-- MAILBAG: Anton Stralman answers your Q's on defense, facial hair and more! 

-- Fit Panthers hockey into your schedule with a personalized "Flex Plan." 

-- Don't miss "Yoga Day" at BB&T Center on Dec. 8. 

-- Check out interesting pieces of Panthers history in the Virtual Vault. 

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