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Wednesday Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

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Wild Card race in the East heats up even more

NHL: Florida Panthers at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Panthers didn’t play last night and they get tonight off before facing the New York Islanders on Thursday in the penultimate game of the 2018-19 season.

If the Cats, currently riding a three-game winning streak, beat the Isles, they will help the Washington Capitals win the Metropolitan Division, or the Caps can take Florida out of the equation by beating the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

Speaking of Montreal, they posted an enormous 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning last night. The Habs are now tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who were thumped by Boston, for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, with each team having amassed 94 points.

Montreal must finish a point ahead of the Blue Jackets in the standings or enter via another path, passing the Carolina Hurricanes (95 points), who held on to the WC1 spot with an impressive 4-1 road win over the sagging Toronto Maple Leafs.

The three teams fighting for the those two spots each have two games remaining.

The Colorado Avalanche took a big step towards wrapping up the last playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 6-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers after falling behind 2-0.

Unfortunately, our franchise brother from another mother out West, the Arizona Coyotes failed to keep pace with Colorado, thanks to a 3-1 loss at home to the Los Angeles Kings.

The only way in for the Desert Dogs is to win its remaining two games and for the Avalanche to lose its final two tilts in regulation. Talk about hanging on by a thread...

Should be an interesting last few days of the regular season.