In case you're not a puckhead and haven't noticed, the Florida Panthers are in a playoff race. The team is jockeying with the Islanders, Hurricanes, and Thrashers for the eighth spot in the East, and the season will come down to the wire. Every game from here on out is of utmost importance, especially when skating on home ice. The Cats' last multigame homestand is this week. Atlanta comes to the Office Depot Center (1 Panthers Pkwy., Sunrise) on March 27, followed by the Hurricanes on March 29, and the Ottawa Senators on March 31. Call 954-523-3309 for tickets. -- Russ Evans
Hunt for the spud
Calling all nature conservationists and green thumbs, age 13 and older! Tree Tops Park (3900 SW 100th Ave., Davie) is conducting "This Spud's for You," an air potato roundup, at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 27. Air potatoes are rapidly spreading vines that invade and suffocate Florida's native vegetation. They need to be hunted down and stuffed into a chipper, thus keeping our great state from turning into one huge weed. And get this, all Earth Day council members and honor society wannabes: Work completed in the roundup will count toward school community-service hours. Artistic volunteers will also enjoy hearing that a "Potato Art Contest" will be on the day's docket, with participants encouraged to create Mr. Air Potato Heads. The park has a $1 entrance fee. Call 954-370-3750. -- Russ Evans
Baseball for Cheapskates
Will the Orioles be picking fish scales out of their beaks after they face the World Champion Florida Marlins on home turf at Fort Lauderdale Stadium (5301 NW 12th Ave., Fort Lauderdale)? Or will it be the other way around, with the Fish going to sleep on pillows of freshly plucked bird feathers? Ah, we love the anything-could-happen drama of spring training, and we really love the ticket prices: $15 for a box seat, $7 for general admission, and, because it's College Night, students and faculty who show their school IDs can get in the gate for $3. You could use the change for a hot dog and two beers, or you could donate it to AIDS Project Florida -- the nonprofit organization that's working with the Orioles at Saturday's game to raise awareness about AIDS. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. Call 954-776-1921. -- Deirdra Funcheon
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