Panthers blank the Canadiens

09 March 2018 22:13:09 GMTPlus10

The Florida Panthers improved to 7-2-1 in their last 10 games on Thursday with a 5-0 rout of the sorry Montreal Canadiens at the BB & T Center in Sunrise.

It's the second time this season that the Panthers have blanked Montreal, having defeated the Canadiens 2-0 at the end of December.

Connor Brickley and Vincent Trocheck were on target in the 2-0 triumph and the latter also scored in Thursday's victory.

Jonathan Huberdeau scored what turned out to be the game winner late in the first period and Nick Bjugstad, Michael Haley and Evgenii Dadonov also lit the lamp before Trocheck completed the scoring.

Seemingly dead and buried when it comes to the post-season, the Panthers have instead made a race of it as they sit two points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets in the chase for the final Wild Card in the Eastern Conference.

Thursday's win was the opener of a five-game home stand for Florida, who welcome in the New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins and Edmonton Oilers over the next nine days.

Atop the Atlantic Division the Tampa Bay Lightning recorded their fourth straight with a 5-3 win over the Rangers.

Two in the first and three more in the second did the trick for the Lightning, with New York making the scoreline a bit more respectable with two third-period goals.

While the Rangers follow Montreal into South Florida, Tampa Bay now hosts the Canadiens at the Amalie Arena over the weekend.

The Lightning are now 3.00 to win the  Conference and 5.50 to claim Stanley Cup success.

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