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Predators try to keep playoff hopes going against Panthers

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Panthers Predators
Sasha Barkov scores the only goal Nashville goalie Juuse Saros allowed in the Florida Panthers 2-0 win over the Predators on March 20, 2021 at BB&T Center. Saros ended with 47 saves. Anthony Duclair scored the final goal into an empty net with 15 seconds remaining. // Photo by Roger Topalian, 21st Century Photography (561) 488-0000

It is not often that the Florida Panthers have the chance to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs but they will against the host Nashville Predators.

The Panthers ticket to the NHL’s big dance is all but assured, the team starting to sell tickets to its season ticket holders on Monday morning.

But, as usual, it will not come easy.

The Predators (26-21-2, 54 points) currently hold fourth in the Central Division which means they are fighting to keep a spot in the postseason.

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There is definitely a difference in attitude when one is safe and secure in their position and the other team is in a dogfight to get where they want to be.

The Panthers (31-13-5, 67) know they will be facing a desperate team in Nashville.

The Predators currently lead Dallas by two points but the Stars have two games in hand; Nashville leads Chicago by five.

The first game of this back-to-back set comes Monday at 8 p.m. from Bridgestone Arena. Game 2 in Tuesday night.

With a win, the Panthers are officially going dancing.

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