Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Florida Panthers continued their streak of losing at home Sunday with a shutout loss to the Anaheim Ducks. The loss not only was the team’s third straight, but it also left the Cats clinging to a one point lead in the Southeast division.
Florida currently has 65 points on the season. The Winnipeg Jets are in second place in the Southeast with 64 points and the Washington Capitals are just behind the Jets with 63 points.
But as Winnipeg has gone 6-4-0 in their last ten games, the Cats have gone 5-5-0 and have lost four of their last seven, including the current three game home losing streak.
Even more problematic for the Cats is that two of their next three games are at the Bank Atlantic Center.
Florida plays the Minnesota Wild Thursday night at home, then hits the road again Saturday night for a game against the Carolina Hurricanes and then comes back home Sunday evening for a game against the Montreal Canadiens.
For Florida, they can ill afford to drop any of those games. If the Panthers drop out of first place, they drop to clawing for the seventh or eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
They will be staring up at teams like the Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Philadelphia Flyers.
Needless to say, Florida’s season will be decided in March, the final month of the season.
Elsewhere in the National Hockey League, the Detroit Red Wings are pulling away from everyone in the league thanks to a jaw-dropping 23-game home winning streak.
The Red Wings’ home streak record was set Sunday with a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks.
The old NHL record for home wins was in 1929-30 by the Boston Bruins and by the 1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers, who both won 22 home games in a row.
Detroit comes back to the Joe Louis Arena Thursday to try for win 24 against the Vancouver Canucks, who are in second place in the Western Conference to the Red Wings.