After getting shutout 5-0 in Wednesday’s exhibition against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Florida Panthers had another rough game. The Panthers couldn’t bounce off the late momentum to tie the game.
The Panthers struggled early in game one of the qualifying round against the Islanders. Florida was very undisciplined early in the contest giving up eight penalty minutes within the first two periods.
New York’s defense was too much for Florida’s lackluster offense. And the Panthers didn’t get their first shot on net until 10:39 in the first period. The Panthers had trouble getting the puck into the offensive zone and found themselves stuck in the neutral zone for most of the first two periods.
The Islanders scored 12 minutes into the first thanks to Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Pageau was able to find himself in front of Florida’s net to tuck in the leading goal. The goal was assisted by Derick Brassard.
Early in the second period, the Islanders scored again. This time off the stick of Anthony Beauvillier and assisted by Devon Toews and Josh Bailey. The Islanders lead 2-0 at the end of two periods.
One interesting part of the game is that the Panthers led in shots, 23-18 at the end of two. Florida turned on the jets and got some shots on goal. New York, however, was able to prevent Florida from scoring. And Semyon Varlamov made some incredible saves.
On the other side of the ice, Sergei Bobrovsky had some good saves, but he still gave up two goals. Bobrovsky is coming off his worst statistical season in his career, so it is no wonder why he’s struggling.
Jonathan Huberdeau put the Panthers on the board early in the third period, to cut the deficit 2-1. Huberdeau’s goal was assisted by Aleksander Barkov and MacKenzie Weegar.
The Panthers put the Islanders on their heels for most of the third period. They got shots on net and stayed in the offensive zone for a good chunk of the time.
Unfortunately, it was too little too late for Florida, as they dropped game one to New York. They did well in the third period, however, the slow start hurt them. If the Panthers want to win this series, they need to have a full 60-minutes of strong hockey. The Panthers and Islanders return for game two on Tuesday.
Check out my series preview to see who I give the edge to.
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