Florida rivalry heats up
TAMPA, Fla. – For the first time in 20 years the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning met in a midseason game with serious playoff implications. Nikita Kucherov had two goals and the Lightning extended a season-high winning streak to five games by beating the Atlantic Division-leading Panthers 3-1 on Sunday night at a packed Amalie Arena. The Lightning moved within five points of Florida.
• CHICAGO WINS 11TH STRAIGHT: The Blackhawks matched a franchise record with their 11th straight victory, using two goals from Jonathan Toews to beat the visiting Canadiens. Chicago also won 11 in a row Feb. 15-March 6, 2013.
• CAP TRICK: Justin Williams' second career hat trick helped lead the Capitals to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Rangers. The Capitals have won 12 straight at home.
• TAKE THAT, JOE: The Flyers defeated the Red Wings 2-1 in a shootout. Including the postseason, it was just the Flyers' third win at Joe Louis Arena in 24 games (3-19-2) since 1988.
• GOALIE-GO-ROUND: Braden Holtby is expected to be OK after leaving the Capitals' game against the Rangers because of dehydration. Holtby was still credited with his league-leading 29th win. … Ryan Miller made 47 saves in the Canucks' 2-1 shootout win over the host Islanders. Miller stopped the first 45 shots. … Florida's Roberto Luongo became the seventh goalie to play in 900 NHL games.
• MISBEHAVING: Ryan White was ejected from the Flyers' game against the Red Wings after using his right shoulder to hit Tomas Jurco in the head. … Canucks captain Henrik Sedin sustained an upper-body injury late in the first period against the Islanders and did not return. He was hit into the boards by Islanders forward Mikhail Grabovski, who got a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct.
• etc.: The Blackhawks reassigned forward Bryan Bickell to Rockford of the AHL. Bickell has no goals and two assists in 23 games with Chicago. … Edmonton signed goaltender Cam Talbot to a three-year contract extension.