Kevin Spacey

The Florida Panthers are within reach of the franchise's best record in its 22-year history. The team is 40-23-9 (89 points) with ten games remaining. Florida posted a 43-27-6-6 record (98 points) in 1999-2000.

But don't commend the Panthers on their talent and hard work. They won't believe you. They only believe in their good luck charm: Kevin Spacey.

As rumor has it -- and the players will neither confirm nor deny -- the club met the Oscar-winning actor at a hotel earlier this season. Florida subsequently caught fire, reeling off a 12-game winning streak from Dec. 15-Jan. 10.

To show their appreciation, the Panthers paid tribute to Spacey with a "Spacey in Space" sweatshirt. Beginning on Dec. 29, Panthers started distributing the sweatshirt to the team's player of the game. But its meaning remained a secret.

"Spacey in Space" gained a cult following in Florida and the team started selling the iconic hoodie for $40, with proceeds going to the Kevin Spacey Foundation and the Florida Panthers Foundation.

But the legend got even better on Saturday night. At the BB&T Center in Sunrise, as they have during recent games, the Panthers gave out "Spacey Facey" masks to fans.

We're giving out #SpaceyInSpace cutouts tonight!

A photo posted by Florida Panthers (@flapanthers) on

In the second period, the video board panned to one fan in a "Spacey in Space" sweatshirt. When the fan took away his "Spacey Facey" mask…well…it was Kevin Spacey.

The Panthers lost the game, 5-3, but they still got to hang with their old friend in the locker room.

Thank you @flapanthers and all the fans for such a wonderful welcome tonight

A photo posted by Kevin Spacey (@kevinspacey) on

Spacey previously teased his trip to South Florida, packing a 1738 Panthers jersey (the team plays Fetty Wap after victories).

So the story of "Spacey in Space" is kind of public, but also kind of secret. Then again, that is the kind of public relations President Underwood is so good at.

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-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.