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Panthers stretch win streak to eight, extend Gallant

Florida currently holds a one point lead on the Montreal Canadiens for top spot in the Atlantic Division following a 3-0 win over the New York Rangers on Saturday night.
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

All is well in Panthers country at the moment.

Florida stretched its win streak to a franchise-best eight games with a 3-0 win over the New York Rangers on Saturday night, and head coach Gerard Gallant has a brand new contract in his back pocket.

Logan Shaw, Vincent Trocheck and Brandon Pirri scored the goals for the Panthers, who have now won a club-best six straight games on home ice.

Roberto Luongo made 40 saves for his 71st career shutout tying him with Lorne Chabot and Harry Lumley for 11th place in NHL history.

The win over the Rangers was the first for the Panthers since April 23, 2013 snapping a seven-game losing streak.

"There's been a buzz going on for a little while, and when you play the Rangers, there's a lot of Rangers fans in the building, so that's a pretty good atmosphere," Luongo said per NHL.com. "The last few games felt like playoff games, and that's the kind you want to play. We want to keep on doing what we're doing."

The Panthers also set a season-high for attendance with 20,289 at BB&T Center - the third largest in franchise history.

Earlier in the day, the club announced it had reached a multi-year extension with Gallant, who guided the Panthers to a 11-3-0 record and 22 points in December.

According to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie, Gallant had one year remaining on his existing deal and the extension is for two more seasons.

“I’m thrilled to be signing an extension with the Panthers,” Gallant said. “I want to thank our owner Vinnie Viola and his partner Doug Cifu for the confidence they have placed in me and their continued support. We’ve started to build a strong foundation with a great staff and group of players here in Florida. We want to continue to build on the recent success we’ve had and create a winning team for years to come.”

The Panthers hired Gallant in June 2014. The 52-year-old guided Florida to a 38-29-15 record and 91 points last season – a 25 point improvement on the previous year.

“We are pleased to agree with Gerard on a multi-year extension,” said Panthers GM Dale Tallon, who signed his own extension on Friday. “He has done an excellent job of creating a winning culture and developing our young players in his time with the Panthers. He is an ideal fit for our group and we look forward to having him lead our team as we work towards our goal of winning the Stanley Cup.”

The Panthers currently hold a one point lead over the Montreal Canadiens for top spot in the Atlantic Division with a pair of games in hand.

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