January 09, 2015

The Florida Panthers' franchise-best winning streak has ended but the chance to make more club history still exists.

Following their first defeat in a month, the visiting Panthers can equal a team record with at least a point in a 14th straight game Wednesday night against the struggling Calgary Flames.

Florida (26-12-5) was fifth in the Atlantic Division and outside of playoff position in the Eastern Conference following a 3-1 loss at Boston on Dec. 12. A month later, the Panthers lead the division and own the second-most points in the East thanks to a 12-game win streak that ended with Monday's 3-2 overtime loss at Vancouver.

"We've been on quite a run for some time now," assistant coach John Madden said. "We did some good things (Monday), but we didn't do enough to win."

Roberto Luongo made 27 saves and Jonathan Huberdeau scored for the third time in four contests but the Panthers blew a 2-0 advantage in their third straight game - and fourth in five - decided by one goal.

Florida allowed 15 goals during the winning streak and Monday marked the first time in nine games it yielded more than two. Luongo posted a 1.31 goals-against average during his nine-game undefeated run.

''We've been playing close games a little bit too much,'' said Huberdeau, who has four goals and 10 assists in 13 games. ''At least we got a point and are ready for the next game.''

Florida's 13-game point streak is a single-season record and one shy of the overall club mark that spanned the final two of 1995-96 and first 12 of 1996-97. The Panthers could have a good chance to match the record at Calgary (19-20-2), where they've won three of four and have earned at least a point in five straight.

The Flames have gone 1-4-0 at home since a franchise-best 11-game winning streak at the Saddledome. Despite overcoming a two-goal deficit to draw even and yielding a season-low 18 shots Monday, the Flames fell 5-4 at home to San Jose for their sixth defeat in 10 games since winning seven straight.

"It's disappointing," said forward Sean Monahan, who snapped an eight-game goal drought. "It gets frustrating, it gets tough but you've got to find a way to get mentally tough and grind those games out."

Calgary went 3 for 4 on the power play and scored one fewer goal than it did in its previous four home games. However, it gave up at least four for the second time in the last four at the Saddledome.

"You score four goals at home and it should be plenty to win," coach Bob Hartley said. "Very poor management of the game on our part."

Defenseman Mark Giordano has recorded a point in five straight and four goals and nine assists in the last 10. He was held without a point at Florida on Nov. 10, when David Jones scored twice and Monahan had the other goal in a 4-3 loss.

It's uncertain if Florida defenseman Aaron Ekblad, who's posted a plus-16 rating in the past 21 contests and hasn't had a minus game in that span, will miss a second straight contest with an upper-body injury.

There's no mystery surrounding the status of coach Gerard Gallant for Wednesday, as he'll be away from the team for his mother's funeral. Assistant Mike Kelly will be in charge.

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