My Blackhawks may be done, but hockey isn’t! I’m going to cover other games as they come, and first will be the Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils. I have a bit of a stake in this – three former Blackhawks are playing for the Cats, and our former assistant GM Dale Tallon is now the Cats’ GM. The format won’t be like other gamers, but we’ll see how this plays out.
Florida Panthers at New Jersey Devils
3-2 Devils, series tied 3-3
Goals: Steve Bernier and Ilya Kovalchuk (New Jersey), Kris Versteeg and Sean Bergenheim (Florida), in overtime Travis Zajac (New Jersey)
Goalies: Scott Clemmensen (39/42, .929); Martin Brodeur (14/16, .875)
– Scott Clemmensen was in net for the injured Jose Theodore, who had been amazing in net and even got the shutout against the Devils in game 5. Let’s hope he’s not seriously injured and can play on Thursday.
– I was very impressed with the line of Stephen Weiss, Tomas Fleishmann and Kris Versteeg. They were a big reason for the tight coverage in the Devils’ zone.
– Steve Bernier snuck a bad-angle goal behind Clemmy and put the Devils on the board in the first period. Ilya Kovalchuk (shoutout for a former Thrasher) struck next with a power play goal resulting from a high sticking penalty by Tomas Kopecky.
– Beginning in the second period, the Devils played like they were possessed, pardon the pun, while the Panthers seemed to lack the drive to actually win.
– Steeger scored first for the Panthers in the second period with a beautiful pass from Weisser, then Sean Bergenheim snuck a quasi-wraparound rebound shot past Martin Brodeur. The announcers said that he’d been having trouble blocking that shot in the series.
– Interesting fact: after Steeger’s goal, it was pointed out that this was the first time in the series that neither team had a 3-0 lead in a game.
– A wild Brian Campbell penalty appears! I say that because in this past season, he played over 2000 shifts and only had 6 PIM total. No wonder he’s been nominated for the Lady Byng trophy.
– This was the first game in the series to go into overtime (what is regulation, asks the Blackhawks fan who witnessed five OT games in a row). In the end, it was Travis Zajac who took a feed from Kovalchuk and sank the puck behind Clemmy.
at Florida Panthers
TBD (since this game just happened, we don’t know just yet the time and station)
Final showdown in the Sunshine State!