Florida clinches a playoff berth, and starts thinking bigger

MIAMI (AP) — It’s almost been a rite of spring for Jonathan Huberdeau. Another season for the Florida Panthers ends without a playoff berth, and the talk immediately turns to how next year will be different. Next year, finally, might be here. For just the seventh time in their 27-season history, the Panthers are going to the Stanley Cup playoffs. A 7-4 win in Nashville on Tuesday night was the official clincher, though the standings have made it evident for weeks that the postseason was going to be in Florida’s future.