After accomplishing a feat they hadn’t managed in 12 years (making the playoffs), the Florida Panthers pulled off something they hadn’t done in 15: actually winning a postseason contest. Not since April 17, 1997 had the Panthers prevailed in a big way – the longest gap in playoff wins in NHL history, according to NBC Sports Network – as the cascade of plastic rats provided a symbolic moment of arrival. The New Jersey Devils cannot totally disregard the seemingly weak third seed any longer now that the series is tied 1-1 thanks to a 4-2 Florida win.
Let’s get the discussion started.
- Stephen Weiss became the first Panthers player to score two power-play goals in a single playoff game. Is there a player in the entire postseason group of 16 that deserves some relief more than him?
- Shots on goal don’t tell everything, but they’re a solid indicator of effort from time to time. I’d say it shows in the Devils work to some degree; they went from four in the first to nine in the second and then 12 in the final frame. Is New Jersey’s seemingly uneven play a sign that the Devils aren’t taking the Panthers seriously, that they’re not very good or perhaps a combination of the two? Or something else?
- So, tell us: what were you doing in April 1997? Were you watching the New York Rangers face the Panthers in Miami, by any chance?
- The Devils “have home ice advantage,” yet this was a confidence-builder for the Panthers. Do you think Florida has a real chance to win the series?
It makes sense that a swift bit of history happened in a game in which three goals were scored scored on three shots in about three minutes.
Brad Marchand found the net eight seconds in after an icing call, setting a new record for the Boston Bruins.
(You can see that goal in the video above.)
Again, there were three fast goals overall, with Boston getting two of them. Here’s the Red Wings goal, which narrowly survived a review:
Things didn’t really slow down that much after that, as Loui Eriksson made it 3-1 for the Bruins.
Maybe the best moment wasn’t a goal: Torey Krug was seemingly hurt by a Pavel Datsyuk hit, yet he returned without missing much time.
When the New Jersey Devils shut down a team 1-0, it’s usually with Cory Schneider in net.
Their workhorse got the afternoon off against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, yet Keith Kinkaid did his Schneider impression, grabbing his first NHL shutout in the process.
It was a low-event game with just 46 combined shots on goal, but Kinkaid had to work, stopping all 28 shots. To give you an idea of how tight this game was, the only tally was credited to David Schlemko on the power play.
This gives the Devils three straight wins. They managed to climb into third place in the Metropolitan Division, although New Jersey’s edge is a little misleading; the Islanders trail them by one standings point while holding three games in hand.
That leaves the Islanders in the bottom wild card spot, while the Penguins aren’t so far behind either.
Third in Metro: Devils – 65 points with 57 games played
Second wildcard: Islanders – 64 points, 54 GP
First spot outside the East playoffs: Penguins – 63 points, 54 GP
So, the Devils’ hold of a playoff spot is a bit tenuous, yet the bottom line is that they’re staying in the mix.
The Kings, meanwhile, remain comfortably in first in the Pacific.
The Boston Bruins (without Patrice Bergeron) take on the Detroit Red Wings (missing Jonathan Ericsson) on Sunday afternoon.
It’s a matchup between the second-ranked and third-ranked teams in the Atlantic Division, with little separating the two in the standings.
You can watch the game on NBC and also stream it online via the link below.
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As cool as it was at the time for many, Patrice Bergeron‘s fight against Blake Wheeler is … honestly, a good reminder why players like Bergeron rarely drop the gloves.
Multiple outlets including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty report that Bergeron will miss Sunday afternoon’s game against the Detroit Red Wings (which you can watch on NBC).
We don’t know a ton about the injury aside from the fact that the multiple Selke-winner is considered day-to-day.
People don’t seem overly concerned about this issue, but you have to wonder if Bergeron made a bad choice, especially considering his history of concussion issues.
You can watch the bout that may or may not have left him injured in the video above.