NHL Talk: Panthers, Sabres, Hurricanes & Canadiens

In this edition of “NHL Talk,” these are the top hockey stories with quotes from players, coaches, managers, and more. Check Tom Pepper’s profile every day for a new edition of the “NHL Talk” column.

Sabres Riding Season-High Four-Game Winning Streak

The Buffalo Sabres extended its season-high winning streak to four games with a 5-3 win against the New York Islanders on Saturday. It marked the first time the Sabres won four consecutive games since a 10-game winning streak from Nov. 8-27, 2018. Buffalo is playing strong hockey as of late, with a 5-1-0 record and 26 goals scored over its last six games.

Jeff Skinner Buffalo Sabres
Jeff Skinner, Buffalo Sabres (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

“It’s tough to really put a single thing that’s given us success,” Sabres forward Jeff Skinner said. “I think each night it’s different. Sometimes it’s a combination of things, but the fact that it is consistent is probably the best thing for us to grab on to because it’s hard to be like that on a consistent basis. … I think it just comes down to winning battles if you have to take one part of it. Obviously, you have to make plays and we’ve got skilled guys, so that’s going to come out. To me, it’s about winning battles and working together and reading off guys.”

Hurricanes Make Late Comeback to Steal Victory in Overtime

The Carolina Hurricanes stole two points in the standings with a 3-2 overtime win at the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. The Hurricanes trailed, 2-0, heading into the final five minutes of the third period, but Brady Skjei and Nino Niederreiter managed to find the back of the Devils’ net at 15:24 and 18:04, respectively. In overtime, Seth Jarvis iced the game at 1:39 to put the cherry on top of an incredible late-game comeback by the Hurricanes.

Seth Jarvis Carolina Hurricanes
Seth Jarvis, Carolina Hurricanes (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

“We always think we have a chance to win it, [Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour] preaches that and our leadership group come behind us and really helps us out,” Jarvis said. “Especially when you’re down two with five minutes left … it’s a little bit tough. But to be able to come back like that just says a lot about our team, about our group inside the locker.”

Canadiens Drop Eighth Consecutive Game in Regulation

The Montreal Canadiens lost an eighth consecutive game in regulation with a 6-4 loss at the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. The Canadiens’ recent struggles have dropped them to last place in the NHL with a 20-48-11 record on the season. Montreal is evidently frustrated, especially considering the team played in the 2021 Stanley Cup Final just months ago, and now finds itself at the bottom of the league with the next edition of the postseason set to begin without it.

Rem Pitlick Montreal Canadiens
Rem Pitlick, Montreal Canadiens (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

“It [stinks] to lose,” Canadiens forward Rem Pitlick said. “I think that as a team, and as an athlete, there is that fire and frustration when you lose. Like, we’re [ticked] off. But we’re just going to keep working. There’s nothing you can do other than trying to keep getting better and hopefully it bounces in your favor.”

Panthers Set Franchise Record on 13-Game Winning Streak

The Florida Panthers continue to dominate the NHL with its 13th consecutive victory in a 3-2 overtime win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. The Panthers have set a new franchise record with its latest winning streak, surpassing its previous high 12-game winning streak from Dec. 15, 2015, to Jan. 10, 2016. Florida ranks first place in the NHL with a 57-15-6 record and four-point advantage over the second-place Colorado Avalanche.

Brandon Montour Florida Panthers
Brandon Montour, Florida Panthers (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images)

Related: NHL Talk: Oilers, Wild, Capitals & Avalanche

“It has been incredible,” Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour said. “The guys we have in that locker room are all great people. Off the ice, we have a blast. We come to the rink every day and have fun. There’s one heck of a hockey team in there. We take it each shift, each game. It is showing this year. It has been good.”