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10 Years Ago: Florida Panthers win Southeast Division, end postseason drought

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The Florida Panthers celebrate winning the Southeast Division title by beating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 in the final game of the 2011-12 season on April 7, 2012. — Photo @GeorgeRichards

With all of the success the Florida Panthers have had this season — from being the highest-scoring team in the NHL to clinching a playoff berth with 13 games remaining — it’s easy to forget those days when things were not as good.

Ten years ago today, the Panthers were celebrating like a team who were all-too-familiar with the failures of their franchise’s immediate past.

On April 7, 2012, the Panthers knew they were in the playoffs by virtue of a loss in Washington a few nights before.

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Florida’s loss to the Capitals — combined with a Buffalo Sabres loss — meant the Panthers’ NHL record 12-year postseason drought was finally over.

But on this night, the Panthers had a chance to make a little history.

With the Carolina Hurricanes in town, Florida was ready to put a lot of demons behind them.

And they did.

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