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NHL - US Sports: Panthers coach makes case for defence

Coach Andrew Brunette praised the recent defensive efforts of the Florida Panthers after they beat the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday to extend their winning run to four games.

The Panthers, 11/2 to win the Stanley Cup in 2021/22, had lost three in a row, before turning their form around with four straight victories, including a 6-1 win over Buffalo Sabres on Monday.

Tightened at the back

Florida conceded 16 goals in the three defeats, but have since tightened up giving up just seven goals in the four wins.

With 237 goals, the Panthers are the highest scoring team in the NHL, and Brunette believes the defensive side of their game is also improving and deserving of more credit.

Florida have conceded 167 goals which ranks 14th in the NHL. Their +70-goal difference is the best in the league, plus-eight better than the next best team, the Colorado Avalanche.

With a 39-13-5 record, Florida lead the Atlantic Division and sit third in the overall NHL standings.

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Resilince pleases Brunette

Brunette was promoted to interim head coach following the resignation of Joel Quenneville on 29th October 2021.

He said to the media following the win over the Penguins: "I really liked our resilience and grit. In certain situations, in puck battles down the stretch, I thought we did a lot of good things that allowed us to win the hockey game.

"We really buckled down and defended."

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