(SportsNetwork.com) - Jaromir Jagr and the Florida Panthers will complete their season on home ice when they host the New Jersey Devils in Saturday's clash at BB&T Center.
Florida will miss the playoffs for the 13th time in 14 seasons, but the club had a promising showing in 2014-15, staying in the Eastern Conference playoff race until the final weeks of the season. The Panthers also possibly cost Boston a postseason berth the last time out, dealing the visiting Bruins a 4-2 setback on Thursday night.
The Panthers tried to give their playoff chances a boost in late February when they acquired Jagr from the Devils in exchange for a pair of draft picks and tonight's test marks the first meeting between the clubs since that deal.
Although he couldn't lead the club to the playoffs, 43-year-old Jagr has had a strong 19-game run in Florida. He has five goals and 11 assists since the trade, giving him 45 points (16G, 29A) in 76 contests this season.
Jagr had two assists in Thursday's game, giving him 1,800 points in his career. His first assist moved him past Ron Francis for fourth on the all-time points list in NHL history, and his second assist tied him with Adam Oates for sixth in helpers with 1,079.
Gordie Howe sits third in points with 1,850. Although Jagr is an unrestricted free agent after the season he may be back with the Panthers in 2015-16 to chase "Mr. Hockey" in the NHL record books.
Roberto Luongo stopped 34 shots to anchor Florida's win over the Bruins. Jonathan Huberdeau, Jimmy Hayes, Aleksander Barkov and Brad Boyes each scored a goal for the Panthers, who snapped a two-game slide.
"(The Bruins) have to win now, but this was more about us showing up now that we're out of it," said Florida forward Shawn Thornton. "I really wanted to win this game. It feels good in here."
Florida is closing the season on a five-game homestand and is 20-13-7 as the host this season.
The Devils are out of the playoffs for a third straight season since making it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2012 and the club has not fared well down the stretch. New Jersey has lost three straight and has just one win over its last 10 games (1-6-3).
Jersey did earn a point the last time out in an overtime loss at Tampa Bay.
Tyler Johnson scored a power-play goal 82 seconds into overtime to lift the Lightning to a 4-3 win. With Mark Fraser off for New Jersey because of a tripping call with 18 seconds left in regulation, Johnson scored the winner from a sharp angle to the left of New Jersey goaltender Keith Kinkaid.
Steve Bernier had two goals and Patrik Elias also scored for New Jersey. Kinkaid gave up four goals on 31 shots, as the Devils allowed the Bolts to go 3-for-8 on the power play.
"We had too many penalties," Devils interim co-coach Lou Lamoriello said. "You can't take eight penalties ... especially against a team like that."
The Devils have lost five straight on the road and are 13-21-6 away from the Garden State.
Cory Schneider will start tonight for the Devils and is 3-1-0 with a 1.95 goals against average in his career against Florida. Al Montoya is expected to go for the Panthers and owns a 2-2-2 mark and a 1.49 GAA versus New Jersey.
Jersey has won three straight and five of the last six meetings against Florida.