And just like that, the Florida Panthers' season is over.
After a furious run and a season filled with anticipation of a playoff berth, the Cats saw their season essentially die at the hands of the Boston Bruins when they allowed a goal with just 1:09 remaining in the third period.
It was a slugfest of a game, with the Panthers striking first, then the Bruins tying it, then the Panthers scoring again, only to see Boston, once again, tie the game. With things knotted at 2-2 and the season on the brink, the Panthers had a chance to put things way when they had a shot at an empty net after Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask fell down during a mad scramble. But the shot ricocheted off a Bruins’ defenseman, ending the Panthers’ last possible chance at putting the game away in regulation and getting those all-important points.
Two minutes after that, Boston’s Milan Lucic shot the puck between Roberto Luongo’s legs and into the back of the net. With a mere 69 seconds remaining, the season was done.
The Bruins won 3-2, gaining two points and putting the Panthers’ season on ice.
Now, with just five games remaining in the season, the Panthers find themselves six points back from the last playoff spot. A win Tuesday night would have brought Florida within two points of Boston, with another game scheduled for next week. But now, thanks to the loss, Florida has dropped the first tiebreaker against the Bruins, making it virtually impossible to get back in it and get that coveted playoff berth.
The Panthers now find themselves looking up at the Bruins and the Ottawa Senators.
The season has been filled with thrilling moments and flashes of a promising future, but this one hurt.
The Panthers have a slew of young up-and-coming stars and should be a force to be reckoned with in coming seasons.
But all of that was forgotten by fans on Twitter after the abrupt, heartbreaking season.
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