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Cats and Coffee: More Jagr History, Cats Return Home

by Jameson Olive @JamesonCoop / FloridaPanthers.com

Barkov one-times Jagr's feed

FLA@NYR: Barkov finishes Jagr's cross-crease dish

Jaromir Jagr sets up Aleksander Barkov for a goal in the 3rd, passing Gordie Howe for the most points by an NHL player after turning 40

  • 00:44 •

Good morning and welcome to "Cats & Coffee," a weekly segment presented by Community Coffee in which we get you caffeinated with an exciting look at the week ahead for the Florida Panthers.

The Florida Panthers are headed home.

After going 1-2-0 on last week's road trip, the Panthers (31-29-11) currently find themselves six points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

With 11 games remaining in their regular season, the Panthers know they can't afford to let any more points slip away as they prepare to kick off a crucial three-game homestand against the Carolina Hurricanes, Arizona Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks at the BB&T Center this week.

"There's lots of pride in this room," Panthers captain Derek MacKenzie said after Sunday's loss in Pittsburgh. "I've got a ton of reasons, just like everyone else does, to make sure that we do everything we can to play our best."

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

THE GAMES

Tuesday: Carolina Hurricanes, 7:30 p.m.

The Panthers will look to start off their homestand by securing a pivotal pair of points against the Hurricanes (30-27-13) at the BB&T Center on Tuesday. Carolina, which has earned points in eight of its last 10 games, should provide a tough test for Florida's power play in this contest, as the Hurricanes currently own the league's fifth-ranked penalty kill (84.8 percent). That being said, expect Thomas Vanek to find his way onto the scoresheet in this one, as the 33-year-old winger has recorded seven points (1-6-7) in the nine games since being acquired by the Panthers at the trade deadline on March 1.

Panthers vs. Hurricanes this season: 1-1-0
TV: FSF, TVA English: 560 WQAM (Dade/Broward); 640 WMEN (Palm Beach); 100.3 WCTH (Florida Keys); 1370 WAXE (Treasure Coast); Spanish: 990 WMYM (Dade/Broward; 760 WEFL (Palm Beach)

Thursday: Arizona Coyotes, 7:30 p.m.

It'll be another exciting chapter of the battle between cats and dogs when the Panthers host the Coyotes (26-36-9) at the BB&T Center on Thursday. The Coyotes, who currently own the league's 27th-ranked offense (2.34 goals per game) and defense (3.17 goals allowed per game), have had somewhat of a late-season resurgence, winning three of their last five games. In this contest, look for Jonathan Marchessault to spark Florida's offense, as the 26-year-old forward has already tallied a career-high 23 goals in his first season with the Panthers.

Panthers vs. Coyotes this season 0-1-0
TV: FSF English: 560 WQAM (Dade/Broward); 640 WMEN (Palm Beach); 100.3 WCTH (Florida Keys); 1370 WAXE (Treasure Coast); Spanish: 990 WMYM (Dade/Broward; 760 WEFL (Palm Beach)


Saturday: Chicago Blackhawks, 7:00 p.m.

Florida's three-game homestand will come to a close when the Central Division-leading Blackhawks (47-20-5) visit the BB&T Center on Saturday. The Panthers will need to be on top of their game in this contest, as Chicago enters the week in the midst of a five-game winning streak, defeating its opponents by a combined score of 18-9 in that span. In order to come away with a much-needed victory, the Panthers will likely need another exceptional performance from Aleksander Barkov, who has notched a team-high seven points (3-4-7) in his last five games. 

Panthers vs. Blackhawks this season 0-1-0
TV: FSF English: 560 WQAM (Dade/Broward); 640 WMEN (Palm Beach); 100.3 WCTH (Florida Keys); 1370 WAXE (Treasure Coast); Spanish: 990 WMYM (Dade/Broward; 760 WEFL (Palm Beach)


JAGR MAKES HISTORY… AGAIN

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Jaromir Jagr has made history.

Jagr hit yet another career milestone on Friday night, as the 45-year-old legend tallied two assists in Florida's 4-3 shootout victory over the New York Rangers to pass Gordie Howe for the most points scored by a player after the age of 40.

"I'm going to pass him for most points after 50," said Jagr, who has tallied 269 points, eclipsing Howe's 268, since turning 40.

Wait, there's more!

Jagr also became just the fourth player in NHL history to play in 1,700 games on Sunday in Pittsburgh, where he began his career at age 18 in 1990-91.

Tweet from @FlaPanthers: 1,700 times on @NHL ice for @68Jagr.That's a lot of hockey. �� pic.twitter.com/Kp4pSEow4x

JOIN OUR HOUSE

It's time to commit to the Cats again, join #OurHouse for the 2017-18 season.

Heads up: you have until Thursday, March 24 to receive three percent in Cats CA$H of your total season ticket investment! This offer is valid for full and half season tickets only. 

If you are new to this fan-friendly currency, Cats CA$H can be used for additional tickets, suites, merchandise, food and beverage.

Tweet from @FlaPanthers: This is #OurHouse.You're Invited: https://t.co/fwYZRfo4Y6 pic.twitter.com/MmJlIXn1g9


MILESTONE WATCH

- Panthers forward Shawn Thornton is four games away from 700 for his career.

- Panthers center Aleksander Barkov is six assists away from 100 for his career.

- Panthers defenseman Mark Pysyk is four games away from 200 for his career.

- Panthers forward Thomas Vanek is six points away from 700 for his career.

- Panthers defenseman Jason Demers is six games away from 700 for his career.

- Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo needs two victories to surpass Curtis Joseph for sole possession of fourth place on the NHL's all-time wins list.  

COLD COFFEE (IN CASE YOU MISSED IT)

- Adam Wilcox, who the Panthers acquired from Tampa Bay at the trade deadline, earned his second consecutive win for the Springfield Thunderbirds, registering a 26-save shutout over the Rochester Americans on March 12. Read up on that and more in our latest prospect report.

- In our latest Q&A, defenseman Mark Pysyk opened up about his life both on and off the ice in South Florida.

"I've been to the beach a couple times," Pysyk said. "Nick Bjugstad's got some paddleboards, so we've done that a couple times as well. There's just so much to do down here."

- In an effort to help an animal that has long been more than just their mascot, the Panthers recently held a special Panther Conservation Night at the BB&T Center.

"It's incredibly generous for the Florida Panthers organization to be supporting panther conservation and wildlife conservation in general," Palm Beach Zoo President & CEO Andrew Aiken said. "For zoos, our mission is to inspire people every day to act on behalf of wildlife. The way we do that at the zoo is by actually getting people up and very close to our animals."  

- The Panthers will join forces with South Florida Ford to host Autism Awareness Night on Monday, April 3.

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