SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) The Florida Panthers were one of the best teams in the NHL after the All-Star break, not that it counted for much at the end of the regular season.
Despite winning five games over the final seven days and tying for first in the NHL with 25 victories over their final 35 games, the Panthers failed to make the playoffs for the fifth time in six years and the 15th time in 17 seasons.
"It's disappointing," said center Vincent Trocheck, who finished the season with a team-high 31 goals. "Everybody here had one goal, and that was to make the playoffs and then go on a push. We were really hoping we'd get a little help from some other teams and maybe get in. I think there's a lot of teams that didn't want to play us if we got in."