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NHL - US Sports: Barkov backs Panthers' self-belief

Captain Aleksander Barkov says the Florida Panthers believe in themselves no matter what the situation is during their games.

The Panthers, 19/4 to win the Stanley Cup, came from three behind against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday to win 4-3 in the shoot-out.

Barkov enjoying fine season

Twenty-six-year-old Barkov scored the game-tying goal with 2.16 remaining and had the only goal in the shoot-out to improve Florida's Atlantic leading division record to 44-14-6. Their 94 points ranks second in the entire NHL.

In a ninth season with the Panthers, Barkov leads the team for goals (28), is fourth for assists (38) and second for overall points (64).

Described by opposition coach as D.J. Smth as playing "at another level now", Barkov has amassed 529 points (209 goals, 320 assists) in 580 career regular season games.

In the play-offs he has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 16 appearances.

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Newly-acquired forward Claude Giroux (from the Philadelphia Flyers) has made an immediate impact for the Panthers registering four assists in two games.

The veteran moved to Florida for a chance to challenge for the Stanley Cup after he made a 1,000th regular season appearance for the Flyers.

Giroux making his mark

He adds to a Panthers offence with has already scored the most goals in the NHL (262) and has the best goal differential (+76).

Barkov said after the win over Ottawa: "We know we're going to come back. We have the skill. We have the mindset that we're going to come back no matter what."

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