John Tavares scored with 3:33 left for NY, and Thomas Greiss stopped 28 shots for the Islanders. “I thought we controlled more of the game today”.
“Reilly was awesome”, Gallant said. “He showed it tonight”. But given how badly they out-shot the Panthers tonight, they’re probably leaving Florida wondering if they could’ve gotten more – like, say, a 2-0 series lead.
On the tie-breaking goal, Tavares stole the puck from Florida defenseman Brian Campbell and fed to Okposo.
Pulock I’ll excuse because: 1) his “pass up” situations were justifiable in that his risk was having his shot blocked and going the other way, and 3) he’s a rookie on a short leash, so I don’t blame him for wanting to avoid mistakes. “I just consider it his season”. “That’s the frustrating part”.
The team said Friday that he will be out at least two weeks. “But we found a way”. Yes, damn Reilly Smith did his thing again.
With the lead still at one, Florida doubled its advantage early into the second period.
Greiss came up with a good stop on Hubderdeau about seven minutes into overtime to take care of the Panthers’ best chance in the extra session.
PREDATORS 3, DUCKS 2: Craig Smith had a goal and an assist, Pekka Rinne made 27 saves and the Nashville Predators confidently claimed their second straight road victory to open their first-round series against the Anaheim Ducks.
Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is set for Friday night at the BB&T Center. What makes playoff hockey unique is how adjustments play such a large role from game to game.Trocheck traveled with the team to NY and could be available for Wednesday’s Game 4, although Gallant was noncommittal. Statistically speaking, the Islanders and Panthers are very close together.
Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss, who made his first career playoff start, got the win with 42 saves.
The Panthers had their fans in a frenzy when Teddy Purcell scored their first goal of the game in the first period. He had 21 saves.
That was all the scoring Florida needed as Luongo and the defense did the rest. Penalties on Petrovic (interference) and Jussi Jokinen in a span of 25 seconds created a 5-on-3 for NY, which cut the lead in half when Pulock’s sizzling slap shot sailed past Luongo.
The Panthers were among the league leaders in almost every meaningful statistical category this season, except special teams where they were ranked 23rd on the power play and 24th on the penalty kill. That line has been outstanding for us in the playoffs with Bjugstad in there. Nielsen beat Luongo high to his stick side.
Smith and Bjugstad each had one goal and one assist. Jagr’s playoff goal-scoring drought is now at 34 games and the 44-year-old has yet to produce a point in the series.
With the Panthers putting the pressure on the Islanders for most of the second period, John Tavares came up with a big moment of his own by shooting a wristshot of his own, tying it at 3 with the clock winding down in that period. They know what it takes to grind in the playoffs. “We have to clean up the unforced errors”.
“It was a fun atmosphere”, said Greiss, who is 2-0 against Florida this season. You simply can not win series with the play of the second line. “I just hung on and made the saves and did what I had to do”. Travis Hamonic cleared it out, and it was all over for the Panthers. Jaromir Jagr and Roberto Luongo? NY has gone stretches without sustained pressure and that starts with ability to cleanly exit the zone.