After sweeping a three-game homestand and extending their winning streak to a season-long four games with a 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night at BB&T Center, Florida will now hit the road for a season-long six-game road trip, starting on Tuesday in Philadelphia.
Florida is 3-2-2 on the road this season.
"We found our stride a little bit," Panthers coach Bob Boughner said. "Now the challenge is to take that on the road."
Everything has been clicking for the Panthers during their current streak, which stands as the longest active winning streak in the Eastern Conference. In each of their four victories, they've scored at least four goals, while never surrendering more than two to improve to 6-5-3 this year.
Against Ottawa, Mike Hoffman extended his career-best point streak to 12 games, while Evgenii Dadonov pushed his to 11. If either top-line forward can make it to 13, they'll move into a tie with Hall of Famer Pavel Bure for the franchise's all-time record, set during the 1999-2000 campaign.
"Barky's line led the way," Boughner said of the top-line trio of Aleksander Barkov, Hoffman and Dadonov after last night's big victory. "They got the first one, and you could see every line just follow and start gaining some momentum."
Additionally, Florida's power play has gone 9-for-31 (29 percent) over the last seven games.
"We've just learned how to win games," said Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov, who has two goals in his last three games. "Of course, everybody's going to make mistakes, and we just need to live with that. If you make a mistake you have four other guys on the ice who can make up for it. We have been really good as a team. We've been really good together and goalies have been unbelievable. So, here we are."
Here's everything you need to know for the week ahead…
Tuesday: at Philadelphia Flyers, 7:00 p.m.
The Panthers will kick off their six-game road swing with a matchup against the Flyers (9-7-1) at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday. Philadelphia enters the week on a three-game winning streak after shutting out Chicago 4-0 on Saturday. The Flyers have scored 14 goals during their streak, thanks in large part to Claude Giroux, who has notched eight points (3-5-8) in that span to push his team-leading point total to 22 - which is tied for seventh in the NHL. For the Panthers, look for Jonathan Huberdeau to match Giroux in the scoring department, as the 25-year-old winger has 12 points (3-9-12) over his last 10 games after picking up a goal and an assist on Sunday.
Radio: 790 WAXY (DADE/BROWARD); 640 WMEN (PALM BEACH); 100.3 WCTH (FLORIDA KEYS); 1370 WAXE (TREASURE COAST) *WAXE START TIME 8PM
Thursday: at Columbus Blue Jackets, 7:00 p.m.
The Panthers will attempt to stifle the Metropolitan-Division leading Blue Jackets (9-6-2) when they make a stop at Nationwide Arena on Thursday. Columbus has won two of its last three games, but enters the week on the heels of a 5-4 shootout loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday. Despite their record, Columbus has been struggling to find success on special teams throughout the season thus far, owning the league's 25th-ranked power play (15.6 percent) and 24th-ranked penalty kill (76.8). In this matchup, look for Keith Yandle to take advantage of these shortcomings for the Panthers, as the 32-year-old defenseman averages ample time on special teams and is on a seven-game point streak, notching two goals and six assists during that span.
Radio: 560 WQAM (DADE/BROWARD); 640 WMEN (PALM BEACH); 100.3 WCTH (FLORIDA KEYS); 1370 WAXE (TREASURE COAST) *WAXE START TIME 8PM
Saturday: at New York Rangers, 7:00 p.m.
The Panthers will wrap up their week with a rematch against the Rangers (8-7-2) on Saturday at Madison Square Garden. In their first meeting of the season, New York secured a 5-2 win in the Big Apple on Oct. 23. Since then, the Blueshirts have remained hot, winning five of their last six games, with three of those games being decided by shootouts. In net, Henrik Lundqvist has been on fire for the Rangers, going 3-0-1 with a .928 save percentage over his last four starts. That said, the Panthers have their own future Hall of Famer between the pipes, as Roberto Luongo enters the week with a perfect 3-0-0 record and has stopped 100 of the 105 shots (.952 percent) he's faced this season. Dating back to last season, Luongo's .931 save percentage is the best in the NHL among goaltenders with at least 10 starts during that span.
Radio: TBD (DADE/BROWARD); 640 WMEN (PALM BEACH); 100.3 WCTH (FLORIDA KEYS); 1370 WAXE (TREASURE COAST) *WAXE START TIME 8PM
- Jonathan Huberdeau is one goal away from his 100th NHL goal.
- Jonathan Huberdeau is one game away from his 400th NHL game.
- Vincent Trocheck is six goals away from his 100th NHL goal.
- Keith Yandle is seven assists away from his 400th NHL assist.
The Panthers are bringing outdoor ice rinks to South Florida once again this holiday season.
In partnering with the City of Fort Lauderdale and Hoffman's Chocolates, the Panthers will craft two outdoor ice-skating rinks that will be known as the "Hockey Holidays Ice Rinks." There will be one rink located outside Hoffman's Chocolates in Greenacres and one in the downtown area.
"We're thrilled to present Holidays Ice Rinks for the second year in a row at Hoffman's Chocolates in Greenacres and the third year in a row at Huizenga (Bubier) Park in Fort Lauderdale," said Panthers Chief Operating Officer Sean McCaffrey. "We hope these outdoor rinks bring the holiday spirit to our community as we continue to grow the game of hockey in South Florida."
The Greenacres outdoor holiday rink will officially open on Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. and coincide with the Hoffman's Chocolates Winter Wonderland holiday display. The hours of operation will be: Monday to Friday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
"We are thrilled to celebrate the holiday season again with Florida Panthers Ice Rink at our Annual Winter Wonderland," said Randall Vitale, President of Hoffman's Chocolates. "For almost 30 years, Hoffman's Chocolates has been wowing families of South Florida with our Winter Wonderland in Palm Beach County, and we're excited to continue to bring the magic to their smiling faces. We can't wait to lace up our skates."
The Bubier Park outdoor rink, which is located right near Fort Lauderdale's Riverwalk, will open on Sunday, Nov. 25 and run until Jan. 7, 2018. The hours of operation will be: Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, including admission fees, please visit FloridaPanthers.com/HolidayRinks.
TURKEY DRIVE / WATCH PARTY
In conjunction with local volunteer organization Harvest Drive, the Panthers will team up with JetBlue to host on Monday, Nov. 19 for the organization's annual Turkey Drive. Unlike year's past, however, this drive will also coincide with a very special watch party at BB&T Center.
Beginning at 5 p.m., all fans that bring a frozen turkey to the drive will gain access to a watch party in parking lots B10 and B12, which are located just below the JetBlue Tarmac in front of the arena.
The Panthers will drop the puck in Ottawa at 7:30 p.m. In addition to the game, fans will also be able to enjoy food trucks, video game trucks, inflatable slap shot, corn hole, Jenga and much more. There will be special activities during commercial break intermissions, and Stanley C. Panther, Viktor E. Ratt and ROAR Corps will also be there.
For information on Florida's upcoming community drives, please visit FloridaPanthers.com/Drives.
CATS CLIP OF THE WEEK
After being honored as part of the "Heroes Among Us" program during Florida's 4-1 win over Edmonton on Thursday night at BB&T Center, Retired United States Army Sergeant Victor Larronde was surprised with a ceremonial deed to a mortgage-free home in South Florida.
You can watch his reaction below and read his full story HERE.
Video: EDM@FLA: Panthers present Army vet with new house
CATS IN THE COMMUNITY
COLD COFFEE (IN CASE YOU MISSED IT)
-- Miss anything from Sunday's 5-1 win over Ottawa? Check out these "5 Takeaways" for all the highlights, news and notes!
-- Roberto Luongo is injecting confidence into Florida's lineup.
-- Who's the most underrated player in the NHL? According to his peers, it's Aleksander Barkov.
-- The Panthers and Coca-Cola are celebrating 25 years together.
-- After a lot of lulls, the Panthers are ready to enjoy a jam-packed November schedule.
-- Florida's power play is looking potent.
-- Derek MacKenzie is out indefinitely after undergoing successful shoulder surgery.
- In a special episode of Territory Talk, Doug and Jameson break down Florida's hot streak.