The Florida Panthers preserved their playoff hopes thanks to much of their offense coming from unlikely sources.
Alexander Petrovic scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period to lift the Panthers to a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night.
Evgenii Dadonov and MacKenzie Weegar also scored to help the Panthers snap a three-game skid and pull five points behind idle New Jersey for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. Florida has four games remaining http://www.patriotsauthorizedshop.com/authentic-danny-shelton-jerseyy , one more than the Devils. Roberto Luongo stopped 26 shots.
Petrovic and Weegar entered the game with one goal each on the season.
”It doesn’t come too often, but everyone chips in a certain way and tonight we just found a way to get the two points,” Petrovic said. ”Just keeping this thing alive.”
On the go-ahead goal, Petrovic shot from the boards above the right circle and beat Darling with 7:58 left for his first goal since Feb. 14 against Vancouver. His second goal of the season couldn’t have come at a better time.
The Panthers host the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.
”We needed tonight’s win at all costs,” Luongo said. ”We got the job done, now we’ve got to get some rest tonight and another big game tomorrow.”
Derek Ryan and Trevor van Riemsdyk scored for Carolina Kareem Martin Color Rush Jersey , and Scott Darling finished with 32 saves.
”They knew they needed two points tonight and they were going for it,” van Riemsdyk said. ”They were desperate, and they found a way.”
Carolina had tied it 2-2 with 6:12 left in the second it caught Florida on a line change, and Ryan backhanded the puck past Luongo for his 15th.
The Hurricanes were eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday night and could have played the spoiler role.
”More than trying to ruin their season it’s us playing for pride for each other. That’s more important for me,” Ryan said. ”They dug deep when the pressure was on.”
The Hurricanes took a 1-0 lead on a goal by van Riemsdyk 3:44 in. Luongo blocked a shot from in front by Brock McGinn but van Riemsdyk slapped in the rebound for his third.
The Panthers answered 19 seconds later when Weegar’s shot from the right circle went over Darling’s glove for his second of the season. Weegar’s last goal was on Oct. 20 against Pittsburgh.
”We’ve got to respond after they score, and we did just that. I’m happy I could contribute. It’s been a long time D.J. Fluker Color Rush Jersey ,” Weegar said.
Dadonov gave the Panthers ahead 2-1 on a power-play goal with 9.1 seconds left in the first. Aleksander Barkov passed over to Dadonov in the slot and he flipped the puck off Darling’s leg for his 27th.
NOTES: Barkov’s assist on Dadonov’s goal was his 50th, becoming the first Panthers player to hit that mark since Olli Jokinen had 52 in the 2006-07 season. … Panthers forwards Frank Vatrano and Denis Malgin returned after missing the previous game with injuries.Carolina recalled D Roland McKeown from AHL Charlotte on Sunday.
Hurricanes: At Philadelphia on Thursday night.
Panthers: Host Nashville on Tuesday night.
The Steelers have no plans on moving on from All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell.
Team president Art Rooney II is optimistic the team can sign Bell to a long-term extension going into the 2018 season, but didn’t rule out using the franchise tag for a second straight year as a precaution if the two sides can’t come to an agreement before free agency begins next month.
While allowing that contract negotiations can be hard to predict, Rooney stressed Wednesday that ”the good news is both sides want to get something done and hopefully that will lead us to getting it done.”
Bell played under the franchise tag this season after rejecting a new contract last summer. He responded by leading the NFL in touches (406) while finishing with 1,946 total yards and 11 touchdowns to earn his second All-Pro spot in four years as the Steelers finished 13-3 and won their second straight AFC North title before being upset in the divisional round by Jacksonville.
Bell told ESPN in the run-up to the playoff loss he would consider sitting out 2018 or retiring if Pittsburgh used the franchise tag again, but softened his stance prior to the Pro Bowl http://www.buccaneersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-vinny-curry-jersey , saying he believes he’s close to signing a new deal, one that would likely make him the highest-paid back in the league.
While Bell figures to be back next fall, defensive backs coach Carnell Lake will not. Lake stepped down on Wednesday after seven seasons, citing a desire to return to California to watch his youngest son finish up his high school football career.
Pittsburgh’s secondary underwent a massive overhaul during Lake’s tenure, as Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor and Ryan Clark gave way to Mike Mitchell Alex Cappa Color Rush Jersey , Artie Burns and Sean Davis.
Rooney praised Lake’s contributions while adding that overall he believes the team still has work to do despite finishing with a franchise-record and NFL-high 56 sacks.
”I think at times we weren’t as solid against the run as we’d like to be and as we’ve been historically as a Steeler defense,” Rooney said.
”We’ve typically been able to stop the run, so we’ve had occasions where maybe we weren’t as consistent in that area as I think we’d like to be.”
Namely against the Jaguars. The Steelers allowed 231 yards rushing in a regular-season loss to Jacksonville and 164 more in a 45-42 playoff stunner.
Rooney, however, downplayed the idea the Steelers were looking ahead to a rematch with New England and defended coach Mike Tomlin’s approach.
”Anybody that wants to look at Mike’s track record since he’s been our coach, I think the record speaks for itself http://www.falconsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-calvin-ridley-jersey ,” Rooney said.
Rooney praised the leadership among the coaching staff and in the locker room in general following a bumpy autumn sprinkled with off-the-field issues from a ”botched” attempt to sidestep the debate around the national anthem in Chicago to linebacker Ryan Shazier’s life-altering spinal injury to the decision to cut longtime linebacker James Harrison, who promptly signed with New England and reached the Super Bowl.
Rooney said there was blame to go around on both sides for the way Harrison’s tenure with Pittsburgh ended, adding he would have preferred Harrison’s year end with getting five sacks in a Super Bowl with the Steelers.
Shazier will have a role with Pittsburgh next season whether his playing career continues or not. The 25-year-old spent nearly two months in the hospital after injuring his spine against Cincinnati in December and is undergoing outpatient rehabilitation.
Shazier posted a picture of himself standing with a little help shortly before his discharge and he made several appearances at practices and games after getting hurt.
”I expect Ryan is going to be here one way or the other and have a role with the team one way or the other in 2018 for sure,” Rooney said.
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