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Thursday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

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Lightning fails to strike in Pittsburgh

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Panthers lost a little more ground in the wild card chase as their powerful cross-state rivals, the Tampa Bay Lightning were doubled up by the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 at PPG Paints Arena.

Pittsburgh, who entered the game as the second wild card, jumped over the Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals (by virtue of ROW tiebreaker) into second place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Blue Jackets are now WC2 and have an 11-point lead on the Panthers, with the Cats holding a game in hand.

Florida is 12 points behind the Boston Bruins (WC1) with two games in hand.

The Panthers did get a little help from the Dallas Stars, who beat blanked the visiting Buffalo Sabres 1-0.

The Cats will need to pick right up where they left off before the break and they finally get the chance to do so with back-to-back versus Nashville and Vegas at the BB&T Center starting tomorrow night.