TAMPA BAY–There’s only room for one team atop the Atlantic Division of the National Hockey League and following Saturday night’s game at Amalie Arena, that team is the Florida Panthers, 5-2 winners over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Jaromir Jagr and Jonathon Huberdeau had a goal and an assist for Florida’s top line, while center Aleksander Barkov grabbed assists on both goals. Vincent Trocheck matched Jagr’s team high 25 goals while Jussi Jokinen had a goal and assist to match Jagr’s team high 58 points. Jiri Hudler scored his 5th goal for Florida since joining the team near the trade deadline. Jagr’s goal marked the 18th time he scored 25 in a season, second only to Gordie Howe, who accomplished this feat 20 times.
In a game so important, Florida coach Gerard Gallant went with his best players and top goalie Roberto Luongo while Tampa Bay coach John Cooper started back up goalie Andrei Laveleskiy. With the win Florida dominated the season series by a 4-1-0 advantage.
Highlights of Florida’s victory over Tampa Bay from NHL.com can be seen here.
The Miami Herald shared Jagr’s lockeroom session with reporters after the game.
It was a busy night for the Atlantic Division. While all teams played Saturday, none of them will play Sunday.
Jagr’s first-period power play goal was the 747th goal of his career and his 1113th career assist on Huberdeau’s goal enabled him to finish the contest with a team best 58 points this season and l860 for his career. Jagr now trails Mark Messier’s second best career total of 1887 points by 27.
Panthers TV play by play man Steve Goldstein appreciates the history he calls on a nightly basis:
The incredible Jaromir Jagr. 25 goals this season, 1 time since 07-08.
#FlaPanthers 17-1-2 when he scores. Privileged to call his games.
Jaromir Jagr has scored 8 goals after turning 44. The only player to score more goals after turning 44 in NHL history is Gordie Howe.
This interesting piece of trivia links Jagr and Trocheck:
When Vince Trocheck was a kid, he’d trick-or-treat at Jagr‘s house. Tonight, he scored his 25th goal of the season. So did Jagr.
Wonder what Jagr gave kids for Halloween when he was a rookie? Probably Kit Kat bars, which were shipped by fans by the thousands in those early years. Friends in the Czech Republic report likes a Kit Kar style wafery bar over there now
No candy for our JAGRometer.com readers today but a couple of sweet articles we found in our ongoing Jagr news search.
Jagr has now eclipsed the 57 points he scored as a rookie with the Penguins in 1990. While his total was middle of the pack on that Cup-winning team, his 58 points to date leads the first-place Florida Panthers, a team without Mario Lemieux, Mark Reechi, Kevin Stevens, Joe Mullen and Bryan Trottier.
And this little jelly bean from @StatsCentre:
The updated Jagr-O-Meter:
Florida starts a three game homestand Tuesday night at BB&T Center when they host Toronto. After that the New Jersey Devils visit Thursday, March 30 and the Montreal Canadiens will be in town Saturday, April 2. Tickets for these three game can be secured at panthers.nhl.com. Also note the Traveling Jagrs will be visiting Sunrise from Calgary for the New Jersey and Montreal games.
No word if Montreal defenseman PK Subban will be healthy enough to play or join the Traveling Jagrs at the Montreal game. Subban paid homage to Jagr at this year’s breakaway challenge during the All-Star game skills competition.