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FLORIDA PANTHERS THE OTHER EIGHTH SEED FROM SOUTH FLORIDA

By Arnie Leshin 
Move over, Miami Heat, you’ve got company. 
 
But not on the basketball court of the National Basketball Association, for its on the ice where the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers are the eighth-seed and up 2-0 on the 3rd-seeded Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference.
 
And it could go to 3-0 if the white-hot Panthers continue to own the puck, for after winning the first two games in Carolina, they are now at home Monday night and expect a sell-out.
 
Yup, the unheralded Florida team is streaking in the same manner Miami is. It first eliminated the record top-seeded Boston Bruins in seven games and then ousted the surging Toronto Maple Leafs in five. 
 
Next, the Panthers stunned the Hurricanes twice, 3-2 in four overtimes, and 2-1 in one OT. 
 
Not the same in the Western Division, there the 3rd-seeded Vegas Golden Knights have taken a 2-0 lead over the 5th-seeded Dallas Stars, also both in overtimes on home ice — 4-3 and 3-2. 
 
Thus, it’s genuinely possible that there will be eighth seeds in both the NBA and NHL championship rounds.  

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