The Florida Panthers defeat the New York Islanders in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers with a score of 3-2. The Islanders lead this best-of-five series 2-1. Both teams played at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario. Here’s a recap of game one between the Islanders and Panthers.
The Panthers were facing elimination this game and they weren’t looking to go home early. Both teams had momentum swings go in their favor early in the game. But, it became close during the halfway point of the period. The Panthers played some of their best defense in this entire series despite being outshot 8-6 during this period. Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made some key saves to not give the Islanders any kind of momentum in this game.
The game was tied at zero heading into the second period.
The momentum swings played a factor in this period. The Panthers dominated most of the period scoring 4:02 into the period from forward Erik Haula on a power play. They also outshot the Islanders 11-4 during this period. However, the Islanders came back and started to seize that momentum away from the Panthers at around the midway point of the period. The Islanders also made a late push into the period and scored a goal from forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau tying the game at one.
The game was tied again but this time at one heading into the third period.
Florida again was able to take control of the early stages of the period. Panthers forward Mike Hoffman scored 41 seconds into the period on another power play. The Panthers scored again just 2:48 after Hoffman’s power play goal from forward Brian Boyle to extend the lead to two. After Boyle’s goal, the Islanders took control for the rest of the game. They had chance after chance to cut the lead down to one but Bobrovsky was able to make saves stopping nine of ten Islanders shots this period. New York also outshot Florida 10-5 during this period. They would get the puck to the back of the net with a 1:27 left from forward Brock Nelson. However, the Islanders couldn’t get another goal to send the game to overtime and the Panthers forced a Game 4 to avoid being swept.
Florida won the game 3-2 but still trail in the series 2-1.
This was by far Florida’s best game this series both offensively and defensively. They were able to hold onto their lead when the Islanders were making a push to get the game closer. The Panthers also went 2-for-5 on the power play which helped them get this win. Bobrovsky also had a good game saving 20 out of 22 goals against with a .909 save percentage.
Three Stars of the Game
Third Star: Ryan Pulock (1 assist)
Second Star: MacKenzie Weegar (3 blocked shots)
First Star: Mike Hoffman (1 goal, 1 assist)
Game 4 of the Panthers-Islanders series is on Aug. 7 at 12 pm EST.