The Florida Panthers had hoped to officially clinch a playoff berth with a victory Monday night against the host Nashville Predators.
Alas, it will have to wait another day.
Nashville, trying to hold onto the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division, took its first lead early in the second period and did not give it back as the Predators beat the Panthers 4-1 at Bridgestone Arena.
Florida could have gotten in the playoffs without winning Monday, but that would have meant going to overtime.
That did not happen after Nashville scored twice in the third period.
The Panthers and Preds do it again Tuesday night. Perhaps Tuesday will be Florida’s night.
Monday certainly was not.
”Every game for them is a do-or-die game and we want to match that intensity,” Radko Gudas said. “I thought we did for parts of the game but we just didn’t get it done today.”