BY REBECCA WALL
After a decade, the Florida Panthers have earned their spot in the eastern conference quarterfinals.
The team finished the regular season atop of the Southeast Division making first-time franchise history. The Southeast Division Champion Panthers ended the season in third place among the National Hockey League standings.
This finish left the Panthers facing three-time Stanley Cup Champions, the New Jersey Devils in the first round of the playoffs. With much anticipation, Game 1 brought a frenzy of fans to the Bank Atlantic Center.
Brian Parker, 22, was among the excited fans who were experiencing their very first playoff game.
“The game was awesome!” he said. “The atmosphere was something I had never experienced and it was just so energetic with the towel waving and the crowd screaming.”
Parker has attended multiple Florida Panthers games throughout the season and sees potential for the team’s success in the playoffs.
“I can see them doing well,” he said. “They can possibly move onto the next round of the playoffs, but there’s a lot of tough teams in the playoffs and if they play their hearts out, it can be very possible to keep on rolling,” Parker said.
Panthers fan Viktor Zakharov was ecstatic to be a part of the playoff hockey atmosphere and sees future opportunity for the Panthers.
“Panthers have a lot of players who have a lot of potential and that can get you pretty far in the playoffs,” said the 21-year-old. “If they play well, they can advance.”
Although the Panthers fell 3-2 to the Devils in Game 1, they currently lead the series 3-2, as Game 6 is set to be played in New Jersey on April 24.
For more information about tickets, visit the Florida Panthers official website as the Cats continue to fight for their spot in the Conference Semifinals.