Last night was a must win for the Florida Panthers after a tough overtime loss in Game 3. Alex Petrovic scored midway through the third period to put the Panthers ahead and win 2-1. This was the Panthers first road play off win since April 17, 2012. Now their Eastern Conference First Round playoff series with the New York Islanders is tied at two games a piece. Panthers Reilly Smith says they needed that game, they couldn’t go down 3-1, it will be nice to have home ice advantage next.
In the second period both teams put points on the board. Florida’s Teddy Purcell and New York’s John Tavares both scored power play goals. The only assist of the game was from Jaromir Jagr to Purcell. Jagr now sits fifth on the all time Stanley Cup Playoff point list with 200 points.
Also in the second period, another Panthers goal was called back in this series. Johnathon Huberdeau scored at 10:45 when he slid into Thomas Greiss after the break away was stopped, and the puck went into the goal. The goal was disallowed after the Huberdeau was ruled to have pushed Griess into the net. The call was upheld after video review.
But the play of the game came at 9:25 into the third when Petrovic scored the go ahead goal. Petrovic, who scored his first playoff goal, took a pass from Derek MacKenzie, skated to the top right of the circle, and shot passed the defenders and Greiss to break the tie. Petrovic says throughout the whole game they played hard, that’s a good response from a tough last game and it’s nice to go home tied.
Panthers Roberto Luongo made 26 saves and Islanders Griess ended the game with 27 saves.
Next up, the Panthers will host game 5 at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 22.