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Average attendance up 30 percent for 1st-place Panthers

Robert Mayer / USA TODAY Sports

Everything's sunny in South Florida these days.

Sitting first in the Atlantic Division and riding a five-game winning streak, the Panthers are set to host the Pittsburgh Penguins in front of a full house on Saturday, continuing a trend of increased attendance numbers.

This is certainly encouraging for a club that set a franchise record for lowest attendance in a single game only 16 months ago.

While the Panthers' attendance has indeed improved significantly, they're still one of seven teams averaging less than 90 percent capacity crowds.

Rank Team Average Capacity %
24 Colorado 16162 89.8
25 Florida 14620 85.8
26 NY Islanders 13218 83.6
27 New Jersey 14592 82.8
28 Arizona 13187 77
29 Columbus 13647 75.2
30 Carolina 11561 61.9

The common theory is that winning builds fan bases, and the Panthers boast the NHL's fourth-highest point total with 67 through 51 games.

The team's recent success, and an exciting young core complemented by veterans Jaromir Jagr and Roberto Luongo, are indeed helping fill seats. Sustained success - particularly in the playoffs - will only help the cause.

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