Panthers restrict ticket sales for Maple Leafs series to U.S. residents only

The Panthers are doing everything they can to avoid a Leafs Nation takeover of FLA Live Arena in Round 2.

If Toronto Maple Leafs fans want to bring The Passion to Florida for Round 2, they'll have to get creative.

The Panthers are restricting ticket sales for Games 3 and 4 of their second round series against the Maple Leafs at FLA Live Arena to American residents only.

"Sales to this event will be restricted to residents of the United States. Residency will be based on credit card billing address. Orders by residents outside of the United States will be cancelled without notice and refunds given," a message read on Ticketmaster.

Maple Leafs fans will have to get creative if they want to cheer their team on in Florida in Round 2. (Getty Images)
Maple Leafs fans will have to get creative if they want to cheer their team on in Florida in Round 2. (Getty Images)

Ticket sales for the second-round clash went live on Monday.

While no explanation was provided for the move, the Panthers are likely trying to keep the number of traveling fans to a minimum, considering the healthy number of Snowbird Leafs fans calling Florida home in the winter months.

Panthers team president Matthew Caldwell told Florida Hockey Now on Monday that the team has not yet released the full inventory of tickets, and that the second batch of tickets will not feature any restrictions.

“We’re not sold out yet, but we could be if we wanted to be and we will be,’’ Caldwell said. “For the first 24 hours or so, we’re trying to restrict the sales for our Florida fans. It is just an access thing so our fans can get tickets. We are going to allow tickets to be sold to Toronto fans eventually.’’

The exact dates for Games 3 and 4 have yet to be announced as of Monday morning, with the series kicking off at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Tuesday.

Florida shocked the Boston Bruins — and the hockey world — when they knocked off the President's Trophy winners in overtime of Game 7 on Sunday, winning three consecutive games to book their ticket to the Eastern Conference semifinal.

Meanwhile, Toronto finally broke its first-round playoff curse against the juggernaut Tampa Bay Lightning, advancing past the opening series for the first time since 2004 thanks to a clutch overtime marker by captain John Tavares in Game 6 on Saturday.

After the Winnipeg Jets were eliminated in five games at the hands of the Vegas Golden Knights, the only other remaining Canadian team is the Edmonton Oilers, who are set to take on the Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday to kick off their second-round clash.

No restrictions have been placed on the purchase of tickets for that series based on country of residence as of this writing.