TORONTO (AP) — Semyon Varlamov stopped 27 pictures and the New York Islanders opened their best-of-five playoff sequence with a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday within the NHL’s return following a four 1/2-month break.
Anthony Beauvillier scored the decisive purpose on an influence play at 3:39 of the second interval. The purpose was scored a little bit over a minute after Florida’s Mike Matheson was penalized for successful to the pinnacle on defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who didn’t return.
Coach Barry Trotz didn’t have an replace on Boychuk following the sport, however was happy in how the Islanders not solely stayed disciplined instantly following the hit, but in addition capitalized on the penalty.
“One of the best ways to reply after successful or no matter is a purpose on the facility play,” Trotz stated.
Islanders commerce deadline addition Jean-Gabriel Pageau opened the scoring re-directing in Derick Brassard’s centering move 12 minutes into the sport.
Jonathan Huberdeau scored 23 seconds into the third interval for Florida’s lone purpose.
The Islanders entered the NHL’s 24-team expanded playoff because the Jap Convention’s seventh seed, whereas the Panthers are 10th.
Florida’s Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 26 pictures in his first begin since Feb. 29. Bobrovsky missed the Panthers’ ultimate 4 video games on account of damage earlier than the NHL season was paused on March 12.
The Islanders beat Florida for the fifth straight time, relationship to the 2018-19 common season, and continued protecting the high-scoring Panthers in examine.
“We did it the proper method,” Beauvillier stated. “A extremely fast tempo. It was a troublesome sport on the market. The entire crew was prepared for it.”
Florida completed this coronavirus pandemic-shortened season ranked fourth within the NHL in averaging 3.Three objectives per sport, however has now managed simply 5 objectives in 4 video games in opposition to the Islanders.
Aleksander Barkov, who assisted on Huberdeau’s purpose, stated the Panthers lacked second-chance alternatives.
“We have been form of like one and performed,” Barkov stated. “That’s how (the Islanders) are going to play, and we simply want to determine how one can create extra probabilities.”
The Panthers managed simply 4 pictures after Huberdeau scored. And their most sustained stress occurred halfway by way of the second interval, once they managed the play within the New York zone for a couple of minute.
The Islanders lastly cleared the zone after defenseman Ryan Pulock blocked a shot, forcing a turnover.
The Panthers are out of the blue in a well-known gap of their bid to win simply the franchise’s second playoff sequence, and first since reaching the 1996 Stanley Cup Remaining, which Florida misplaced in 4 video games to Colorado.
The Panthers haven’t superior past the primary spherical in every of their previous 5 playoff appearances since.
Varlamov shook off a late-season hunch by which he went 0-2-2 and allowed 18 objectives in 5 appearances, and earned his 14th profession playoff win, and first since with Colorado in 2014.
Boychuk was harm whereas crossing the Florida blue line after dumping the puck into the zone, when Matheson lowered his shoulder and caught the Islanders participant immediately within the head.
Boychuk lay face down on the ice earlier than slowly getting up and headed on to the locker room.
An officers’ overview led to Matheson being issued a minor penalty for an unlawful examine.
The Islanders capitalized on the following energy play with Beauvillier one-timing in Devon Toews’ move into the proper circle.
Huberdeau scored on an odd-man rush, by which he was allowed to chop in alone from the left wing and slip a shot beneath Varlamov.
NOTES: Panthers’ Joel Quenneville coached his 216th profession playoff sport, which ranks second on the all-time checklist. His 118 wins ranks third on the checklist, and stays 5 wanting matching former Islanders coach Al Arbour, who ranks second. … That is the second playoff assembly after the Islanders eradicated the Panthers in six video games of a first-round sequence in 2016. Florida has 4 gamers left on its roster from that sequence, Huberdeau, Matheson, Aleksander Barkov and Aaron Ekblad, whereas the Isles have 10. … The Islanders received the good thing about celebrating Pageau’s purpose to the acquainted home-arena sound of The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop.”
Sport 2 Tuesday at midday EDT.
For extra AP NHL protection: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
— to apnews.com