Despite hosting their first Game 7 at the Bank Atlantic Center, the Florida Panthers probably went into tonight’s game against the New Jersey Devils as the underdog in many peoples’ eyes. Their resiliency will be put to the test that much more after a very tough start. Adam Henrique scored a minute and a half in while Panthers teammates John Madden and Tomas Kopecky suffered from a brutal, accidental collision just moments later.
Madden was seen bleeding over the surface until Panthers trainers helped him off the ice. Update: quite remarkably, Madden returned to the ice within the first period, according to reports such as Tom Gulliti’s Tweet.
No word on the severity or specificity of Madden’s injury, but that collision looked ugly. Brian Engblom described it as “head-on-head” impact. You could see Madden’s head torque back from the impact.
Scoring the first goal has been big in Game 7s and crucial in this series so far, yet if any team can defy expectations, it’s the Panthers. Tonight’s game certainly didn’t begin favorably for Florida, though.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger