Game in a Sentence:
Those of you looking for a reason to tune in finally got that as we had our best game of the series to date with plenty of pace and a comeback. Also, four goalies played which is unusual.
- I thought I was pretty clever when the Devils jumped out the way they did given my praise of the first team to score so far in this series. The Devils looked to have the Panthers by the throat early but I couldn’t help but think back to game one…
- Sometimes, for whatever reason, pulling your goaltender gives the team a jolt they need. Bizarre, I know, but it seemed to click in for the Panthers and they turned their game around very quickly.
- One thing I’ve been harping on for the duration of this series is how much playoff experience the Panthers actually have. Those guys have been their best to this point in time and I fully expect them to drive the team as far as they go.
- What has happened to the vaunted Devils penalty kill? They were lights out all season long and now the Panthers are having their way with them. That’s four power play goals in the last two games.
- I’m not too much of a “blame the goaltender” guy but when a team is struggling to kill penalties you need your goaltender to be your best penalty killer. Is it fair? No, but it is what it is. Just like a quarterback takes the bulk of the heat in football, a goaltender is the equivalent in hockey. Martin Brodeur, though it really wasn’t truly his fault, could have used a big save to give his team a lift when they were on their heels. It didn’t happen and he ended the game on the bench.
- Scott Clemmensen held down the fort nicely for the Panthers in lieu of Jose Theodore. Obviously he’s not going to start the next game… I wouldn’t think… but he made the saves he needed to in order to ensure his team held off the Devils and secured the win.
- Brian Campbell for Rostislav Olesz worked out pretty well for Florida.
- Sean Bergenheim against Shea Weber in a wrestling ring should probably happen sometime this week. Here’s Bergenheim going off the turnbuckle on to the head of Anton Volchenkov.
- Earlier point repeated: I seriously don’t know what’s up with the Devils special teams. The Panthers play a very stubborn game and I thought they would be a tough out for New Jersey but I saw the distinct advantage as that penalty kill.
- The Steve Bernier interference call was tough to swallow for the Devils but I think it was a legitimate call. The contact with Clemmensen impeded his ability to make the save which is the point of the call.
- All in all a solid performance from the Panthers as they battled back from a large deficit and prevented the Devils from getting the all-important equalizer. Even if they didn’t win it was a positive game for them as they continue to put that doubt in the Devils mind whenever they go up on the board.
- I expect a big rebound from the Devils in game four and this series looks more and more like it’s going to seven.
My Three Stars:
1) Brian Campbell
2) Scott Clemmensen
3) Patrik Elias