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It’s not cable: Panthers remain HBO-friendly, beat Leafs


James OBrien

When a team makes a breakthrough, people will occasionally say that a squad is “ready for primetime.” As it turns out, the Florida Panthers might just be too hot for basic cable.

The Panthers beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 on Tuesday, helping them generate a truly unusual run of great play while HBO’s cameras have been around filming 24/7. The team’s Twitter feed made the most of such successes:

Cats end their run on HBO undefeated at 3-0, a mark that is even better than Kenny Powers’ relief record. Now EastBound and Down to Ottawa.

— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) December 18, 2013

Nicely done.

The Panthers are now on a four-game winning streak and have won six of their last seven games, so teams should take them seriously going forward.

The mood wasn’t very jokey in the Maple Leafs locker room, as Mason Raymond and head coach Randy Carlyle told the Canadian Press’ Stephen Whyno.

“We simply got embarrassed,” Raymond said.

“We tried to play shinny against an NHL hockey club,” Carlyle said.

It will be a while before Trevor Smith can help Toronto shake out of its stupor, as Carlyle told Whyno that he broke a bone in his hand.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins