Had the Florida Panthers been a little better in overtime and games decided by shootouts last season, perhaps they wouldn't have had to sweat out making the playoffs at the end of last season.

Florida went 6-11 in shootout games last season as it edged Washington for the Southeast Division title by two points.

A few more shootout wins - and taking the extra point that comes with a victory - would have added up and made things substantially easier.

By bringing in a few skilled forwards - such as Alex Kovalev, Peter Mueller, Marek Svatos and rookie Jonathan Huberdeau - the Panthers hope to have rectified that problem.

"High-end skill is something you look forward to seeing in a shootout," coach Kevin Dineen said. "We have some quality options. We were not a good shootout team last year, didn't have a good overtime record. There's an area we're looking at trying to pick up and be more effective."

The Panthers were near the bottom of the league in shootout winning percentage: Their 11 losses were second-most behind Montreal (12).

Florida's 13 goals were tied for 15th, although its shooting percentage of 22.4 percent was 25th.

"Shootouts are big because they've taken over the game," said Mueller, who has been successful on 41 percent of his shootout chances over his career.