The Florida Panthers started this season with an impressive climb into first place in the Southeast Division, where they held the top spot for 65 days. But the good times soon went south when the Cats hit a tough stretch, dropping 11 of 15 games and falling into seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Because scoring goals is the point of the game, their lack of doing just that is the main reason for their midseason struggles. Florida is ranked 24th in the league in goals scored, and though their defense has kept them in games, the lack of putting the puck between the pipes has killed them in overtime, where they're 4-11 — the most OT losses in the league. Still, the good news is there's plenty of hockey left to be played, and the Panthers are off to their best start since the 1999-2000 season. Their 55 points going into the second half of the season should be enough fuel to catapult toward a strong playoff run. They just need to score more damn goals. The Panthers will host the Ottawa Senators Wednesday at the BankAtlantic Center.
Wed., Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m., 2012