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Panthers enter March #1 in NHL, ready to hit the road, CBS News Miami's Steve Goldstein

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CBS News Miami Live

SUNRISE - The Florida Panthers are blistering hot as they hit the final six weeks of the regular season.

With a remarkable 22-4-2 record over the last third of the season, they are atop the league standings for today anyway. Close wins have been the staple of late. They've won 4 of their last 5 games, all by one goal. Overall, they've taken 9 of the last 10 and 13 of 15. The bottom line is that the Panthers rarely lose.

Competition Time
After a number of games against teams below them in the standings, things ratchet up for the Panthers starting Saturday in Detroit. The Red Wings are holding down a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and have been almost as good as the Panthers in 2024. It's a national TV matchup of two of the league's hottest teams. On Monday night, it's a stop at Madison Square Garden to meet the hot Rangers, also in the battle for first place in the league. In fact, for most of March, the Panthers play mostly teams in playoff spots, and the other opponents are battling to get in.

Record Books Reinhart
Sam Reinhart continues his incredible season. Regular statistics can't show it, but the job he does defensively is outstanding. What the numbers do show is goal scoring. Reinhart leads the NHL in power play goals and already has set the Panthers franchise record for power play goals in a season. He's also tied for the league leaders in shorthanded goals and is one away from tying the team record. The last time an NHL player led the league in both power play and shorthanded goals? Way back in 1996 when Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux did it. Reinhart is also the fourth Panther ever to score 40 goals in a season.

Tenacity & Nasty
Teams have found out the Panthers are no fun to play against. Not only are they highly skilled and play their system extremely well, they are not to be messed with. It's kind of like the animal of the team's name. Mess with one, and the whole pack comes after you. The Panthers play playoff hockey in the regular season.

Sergei Surges Up
Don't look now, but Sergei Bobrovsky is tied for the 15th most wins by a goaltender in NHL history. He has been on a roll piling up wins, and three more will put him in 14th place. With 389 wins, whether it's this season or next, he is poised to become the 14th goalie ever to win 400 games. An interesting note of the 11 goalies with 400 wins who are Hall of Fame eligible, nine are in the Hall. Sergei Bobrovsky as a Hall of Famer will be a legitimate conversation when it's all said and done. Winning a Stanley Cup would certainly boost his credentials. 

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