Published: Apr 12, 2010 12:33 PM EDT

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Panthers came tantalizing close to the postseason last season, failing to qualify because another team held the edge in tiebreakers.

This year was a much different story — albeit one with the same disappointing result.

The Panthers of 2009-10 never found the consistency they needed to end the franchise's lengthy playoff drought. Florida had established an identity as a gritty, hardworking team last year, but this season failed to build on it. Because of all this, the Panthers are again out of the Stanley Cup race, finishing the season with 77 points (32-37-13) and in 14th place in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Panthers haven't appeared in a playoff game since the 1999-00 season.