SUNRISE–Roberto Luongo stopped 39 shots to backstop a 3-0 Florida Panthers shutout victory over the visting New York Rangers. The Florida Panthers came in tied with the their Eastern Conference counterparts with 46 points and played before the third largest crowd in team history at 20,289. Florida’s eighth straight win, and 14 victory in 17 outings, put them back in first place, one point ahead of Montreal with two games in hand.
Panther goals were scored by Logan Shaw, Vincent Trocheck and Brandon Pirri. With his 11th goal Trocheck joined team leaders Jaromir Jagr, Aleksander Barkov and Reilly Smith. The Panthers top line of Jonathon Huberdeau, Barkov and Jagr were held pointless but all three were charging back to take away scoring opportunties for the Rangers. Henrik Lundquist, a goalie who is frequently a thorn for the Panthers, and most of the NHL for that matter, faced 20 shots.
Highlights from the game from nhl.com are here:
ALL-STAR JAGR: The twitter family of Jaromir Jagr celebrated the completion of all-star balloting which resulted in Jagr being named captain of the Atlantic Division. Also named captains of the other divisions were Alexander Ovechkin (Metropolitan) Patrick Kane (Central) and Arizona’s John Scott (Pacific). Voting was conducted by fans and they proved they have a mind of their own with the nomination of Scott. For those unfamiliar with John Scott, he is a spare part enforcer forward for the Coyotes and someone thought it would be fun seeing a 6-8 (203 cm) 270 lb (122 kg) skater known for fighting during his undistinguished career, try to keep up with pedigree players in the 3-on-3 tournament that will pit the four division against each other at this year’s All-Star weekend in Nashville.
The playful Jagr seemed concerned about both he and Scott making the All-Star game as shown on his twitter account:
Fans-I was afraid,that 3on3 all-Star game may kill me,now,I am more afraid,fighting John Scott 6,8 300 during All-Star, kill me for sure
The Jagr choice is sentimental based in some ways, probably anti-Montreal in others, and came even though in the early days of voting Jagr told fans not to vote for him because he says he is too slow. We’ve seen enough displays of Jagr’s speed in 5-on-5 and the occasional overtime situation to know he can be effective in any situation and he carefully paces himself in games so he can take off when he needs to do so. The Panthers record since Jagr’s arrival in Florida has been 34-19-9 for 77 points, which projects to about a 102 point pace.
We’re still waiting for Jagr’s comments to the press on his nomination. He was unhappy with his performance after the victory. While some players may go out and drink after a personal off-game, Jagr was seen skating all by himself at the BB&T Center. That’s your all-star. Still looking to improve and work through a frustration in a positive way.
Stuff You Don’t See on TV: Jagr often directs traffic during plays, telling teammates where to play the puck to as one of the many intangibles the small screen, or even the big screen in your house, that help.
The Panthers close their six-game homestand tonight by hosting the Minnesota Wild at BB&T Center. A six-game road trip starts in Buffalo Tuesday, with visits to Ottawa, Edmonton, Vancouver, Calgary and Tampa Bay to follow. Perhaps the Traveling Jagrs will make an appearance in their homeland of Canada’s Alberta province. No plans have been announced and a phone call to Dallas Stars Jagr could not be completed before press time.
Our next report overnight after the Minnesota game. Tickets still available at panthers.nhl.com.