Game in a Sentence
The Panthers got good showings from guys who have been there and done it before in this game as they held off a late surge from the Devils to tie the series.
- This is a bit of a tough game to comment on because there wasn’t a ton that really happened. They skated around for a bit, the Panthers scored more goals and won and did enough to hold off a very quick New Jersey rally in the third period. Not a whole lot of notable events, but I’ll do my best for you.
- First off, huge day for the Panthers organization. Obviously we may be inclined to snicker and dismiss the franchise at large for their struggles over the last 10-15 years but this was a big monkey off the back. They got into the playoffs during a season they were just trying to hit the cap floor and they won their first playoff game in some time.
- Great to see Stephen Weiss put together such a good game tonight and be a solid performer to this point in the postseason. He has been a long suffering member of the Panthers struggles and perpetual trade bait as a result. Good for him.
- Meanwhile, in Calgary… Jay Bouwmeester weeps in the shower.
- According to NHL.com, these teams combined for 102 hits. There is no way this is true as anyone who watched can attest to.
- Special Teams could very easily be the deciding factor of this series as the Panthers snuck two power play goals past the Devils vaunted penalty kill.
- Ilya Kovalchuk has really embraced the Devils system much better than he did during the last New Jersey playoff appearance. Much more responsible in the two-way game and gets a lot more work done down low.
- I’m a big David Clarkson fan. Does all the dirty work, excellent agitator, and a contributor offensively. How many people know he scored 30 goals this season? Reminds me of a refined version of Randy McKay who was a staple on those Devils Cup teams.
- Neither team could really break down the neutral zone and it made this game difficult to watch at times. It’s no coincidence that half of the goal scoring in this game came from the power play and an empty net.
- Jose Theodore is playing very well right now. Prior to his mid-season injury, he rarely allowed more than three goals which is a chief reason why the Panthers are here to begin with. He has regained that early season form.
- Martin Brodeur was good in net for the Devils, though a few of the rebounds he gave up are a little juicier than what New Jersey wants, I’m sure. He was a key reason why the Panthers didn’t come back in game one and didn’t cost the Devils game two. Another solid effort from him.
- The experience of the Panthers really shone through tonight as their key contributions came from the guys who have extensive playoff games under their belt. It’s really hard to write off the success they are having as unrelated to the tough games the likes of Kopecky, Versteeg, Goc, Samuelsson, etc.
- Following up on my game one proclamation, the team which scored first won another one. Given the mucking styles both these teams play, I expect the same in game three.
My Three Stars:
1) Stephen Weiss
2) Jose Theodore
3) Jason Garrison