Jagr, Panthers resume playoff push vs. Maple Leafs

( - Jaromir Jagr led his new team to a win the last time out and the veteran hopes to make a difference for the Florida Panthers again when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs in Tuesday's battle at BB&T Center.

In his second game with the Panthers since coming over late last week in a trade with New Jersey, Jagr posted a goal and an assist to help Florida down the rival Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-3, in regulation

The 43-year-old winger potted the 717th goal of his standout career, opening the scoring at 10:24 of the first period. The marker tied him with Hall of Famer Phil Esposito for fifth on the NHL's all-time list. Jagr later notched the primary assist on an Aleksander Barkov goal.

Florida held on for the close win despite taking a 4-1 lead early in the third period. The victory put the Panthers within two points of Boston for the last wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

"I came here to help this team get into the playoffs," said Jagr. "It's like a playoff for us already. We've got 19 games to go, and it's going to be exciting."

Jonathan Huberdeau had three assists, while Aaron Ekblad and Brad Boyes also scored for the Panthers. Backup goaltender Al Montoya stopped 20 shots in the win.

Roberto Luongo is expected to return to net tonight for the Panthers. The club's No. 1 goalie boasts a 17-7-0 record and 2.35 goals against average in 27 career outings versus the Maple Leafs.

Florida faces a Toronto team that continued to be sellers at Monday's trade deadline. The Maple Leafs traded away defenseman Cody Franson and forwards Mike Santorelli and Daniel Winnik in February before dealing Korbinian Holzer and Olli Jokinen on the final day for trades.

Jokinen, who only played six games with Toronto since coming over from Nashville, was sent to St. Louis in exchange for a conditional sixth-round draft pick in 2016 and forward Joakim Lindstrom. Holzer went to Anaheim in exchange for the expiring contract of veteran defenseman Eric Brewer and a 2016 fifth-round draft pick on Monday.

Toronto is well outside the playoff picture in the East and has lost its last two games by identical 4-0 scores. The Leafs fell Saturday in Montreal to begin a four-game road trip and lost the following day against Washington.

Braden Holtby turned aside 32 shots to blank Toronto on Sunday, while James Reimer allowed three goals on 31 shots in the loss. The setback was Toronto's 16th straight on the road and dropped the club to 7-20-5 as the guest this season.

The Panthers have won four straight in the series against Toronto overall and the Leafs have lost in each of their last three trips to South Florida. Toronto has lost eight of 10 at BB&T Center.