SUNRISE, Fla. — Claude Giroux has proven to be pretty darn good at putting the puck in the net. Apparently he's got some Nostradamus tendencies, also.

When the Flyers lost seven of their first eight games, the captain made a prediction that seemed pretty unlikely at the time.

"We've never thought that we're not going to make the playoffs," Giroux said a few days before the Flyers' second win of the year.

"We'll take it here game-by-game and we will make the playoffs."

He came through, scoring two goals in the Flyers' 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers to clinch a playoff berth with three games to go in the season.

When the game opened, the Flyers didn't look like a team that wanted to clinch a playoff spot. They were lifeless, allowing the Panthers to take the first five shots of the game.

It wasn't until a Sean Couturier wraparound more than 6 minutes in that the Flyers first tested Dan Ellis.

After that, it was one missed opportunity after another. The Flyers had 1:40 of two-man advantage and three power plays in the first period. They mustered seven shots, but few were high quality.

In the second period, the Flyers finally took advantage of a Panthers mistake. For the second time in the early going of the middle stanza, Florida coughed up the puck on the right side of Ellis' net.