SUNRISE (CBSMiami/AP) – With 19 games remaining on the schedule, the Florida Panthers are hoping that the team that scored 9 goals in two games last weekend is the one that carries them into the playoffs.READ MORE: COVID uptick being felt across South Florida as CDC recommends taking added precautions
The Panthers made a big splash five days before the trade deadline, and the ageless Jaromir Jagr has provided a boost for a club seeking its second postseason berth in 14 years.
The Panthers look to continue their push with a season high-tying third straight win since Jagr arrived, while the fading Toronto Maple Leafs try to end a franchise-worst 16-game road losing streak Tuesday night.
Mired in a four-game slide following a 3-0 home loss to Chicago on Thursday, Florida (28-22-13) has turned things around since acquiring the 43-year-old Jagr from New Jersey that same day.
After he had three shots in a little over 17 minutes to help the Panthers outshoot Buffalo 47-14 in Saturday’s 5-3 home win, Jagr had a goal and an assist in Sunday’s 4-3 victory over visiting Tampa Bay.
Jagr moved into a tie with Phil Esposito for fifth all-time with 717 goals. He also produced his first point in 10 games – the longest drought of his career – and had his first multipoint performance in 19 contests.
Florida, which has four playoff appearances in its 20-year history, is within two points of Boston for the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot.
“I don’t really look right now to the goals,” Jagr said. “My goal is different. I came here to help this team try to make the playoffs or make it close as possible. We’ve got 19 games to go and it’s going to be exciting.”READ MORE: Gov. Ron DeSantis to sign off on housing money
Since totaling 11 goals while going 2 for 24 on the power play over a 2-5-2 stretch, the Panthers have scored nine times and gone 3 for 11 with the man advantage in the last two.
Toronto (25-33-5) has allowed opponents to score at least one power-play goal in six of its last seven games.
Florida’s Brad Boyes scored the 200th goal of his career Sunday and had three assists against the Sabres. The right wing has five goals and seven assists over his last nine meetings with the Leafs, who have been outscored 8-0 in the first two of this four-game trip and totaled 15 goals over the NHL’s worst road skid since Chicago lost 19 in a row in 2003-04.
Although Toronto was expected to shed many of its high-priced players before Monday’s trade deadline, it wasn’t able to unload forwards Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak or defenseman Dion Phaneuf at the right price.
“We did as much as we could. We just hoped for more,” general manager David Nonis said after being limited to two moves. “There weren’t deals that were there for any of our players that made sense for us.”
The Leafs acquired defenseman Eric Brewer and a draft pick from Anaheim in exchange for Korbinian Holzer. They also picked up forward Joakim Lindstrom and a pick from St. Louis for Olli Jokinen.
Jimmy Hayes has had a goal in each of the two meetings with Toronto this season, a 6-4 home win Dec. 28 and a 3-2 road victory Feb. 17. Bozak has four goals and four assists in his past eight matchups.MORE NEWS: Second Suspected Case Of Monkeypox In Broward Under Investigation
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