March of the Panthers

Finally, the Panthers have shown some pluck! After losing eight of 10, Florida won everything they played in the first half of this month, setting a franchise record for consecutive victories along the way. A couple of the scalps they collected belonged to the Rangers and the Bruins – teams in danger of sliding out of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Alas, even after such a run, the Panthers find themselves a playoff bubble team, at best, in what’s becoming an annual rite. “We’ve worked hard to get into the position to have a chance,” goaltender Tomas Vokoun told reporters after the Panthers allowed just nine goals in seven games. “It would be very bad if we wasted it.” @body:Don’t put it past them to do just that. The Panthers haven’t been to the playoffs since – cue the futuristic falsetto from Conan O’Brien – the year 2000, and with just a handful of games remaining, they’re probably heading for another near-miss. A great way for them to gain ground would be to outscore the similarly bubblicious Washington Capitals at 7:00 on Friday March 29 at the BankAtlantic Center (One Panthers Pkwy., Sunrise). Tickets start at $17. Call 954-523-3309, or visit
Sat., March 29, 2008

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