Two months ago it would have been ridiculously foolish to imagine the Panthers clinging to a one-point lead over presumably dead-and-buried Carolina. As with many aspects of life in PantherLand, the outlandish became the reality going into this one.
A spirited, hard-fought win over Philadelphia Thursday evening wasn't quite enough to revive playoff hopes, but it was a game which displayed Florida's desire to remain in contention. Handily defeating division rival Carolina on Saturday - a Hurricanes club coming off seven straight wins - went a lot further toward keeping those hopes alive.
Goaltender Tomas Vokoun continued his recent mastery, allowing one goal - a massive defensive lapse by teammates engaged in a scrum around the crease - on 32 shots by the visitors. Otherwise, the Cats were impenetrable.
Spoiler warning for Leafs Fans: Defenseman Bryan McCabe potted a three-point night, giving the FLA captain seven points in his past two.