SUNRISE, Fla. – After the success of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers last year, the Sunshine State appeared on the verge of a frozen takeover.
Both teams made the playoffs in the same season for just the second time since both franchises have been in the league. A second round meeting was derailed when the New York Islanders bounced the Panthers in the first round that would have heated up the in-state rivalry to a new level.
That led to heightened expectations for both franchises entering this season. And when each team started the year 2-0 heading in to their first meeting b...
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