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playoffs

Instant analysis: Islanders vs. Panthers, Game 4

Persistence, response to adversity help Florida tie series

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- The Florida Panthers defeated the New York Islanders 2-1 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Barclays Center on Wednesday.

Alex Petrovic broke a tie with 10:35 remaining, Teddy Purcell scored, and Roberto Luongo made 26 saves for Florida, which evened the best-of-7 series 2-2.

John Tavares scored his third goal of the series and Thomas Greiss made 27 saves for the Islanders, who have not won back-to-back games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 14 years.

Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr got his 200th point in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when he assisted on Purcell's power-play goal 15:18 into the second period. It was Jagr's first point of the series.

Video: FLA@NYI, Gm4: Jagr finds Purcell to open the scoring

What we learned: Florida was the better team in the first period again and didn't get frustrated despite heading to the intermission in a scoreless tie. The Panthers stuck to their system, controlled the play 5-on-5, and then took advantage when Islanders forward Matt Martin took a tripping penalty at 14:03 of the second period. Florida did not get rattled when New York tied the game on Tavares' power play goal with 15.3 seconds left in the second.

What this means for the Panthers: Florida has regained home-ice advantage in this series, with two of the potential three remaining games to be played at BB&T Center. Each team has won once at Florida in this series, but the Panthers should feed off the energy from their home crowd after being able to avoid falling behind 3-1.

What this means for Islanders: New York wasted a strong performance from Greiss and failed to take a commanding lead in this series. The Islanders must find a way to win Game 5 if they don't want to play with their season on the line when they return to Barclays Center for Game 6 on Sunday. The Islanders didn't do nearly enough at even strength -- they were sluggish at the start and were outshot 10-5 in the first period -- and must figure out some adjustments before the puck drops on Friday.

Video: Situation Room: Huberdeau's shot stands as no goal

Key moment: Florida taking a 1-0 lead. With 9:15 left in the second period, Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau escaped injury when he came in on a partial breakaway against Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock and collided with Greiss. Huberdeau appeared to injure his left leg and required assistance to leave the ice but returned to the bench before play resumed. The puck entered the net but was not called a goal. After review, that call was upheld. Florida used its coach's challenge and the call remained no goal.

But the Panthers were able to take a 1-0 lead on Purcell's goal 6:03 later.

Unsung player of the game: Panthers forward Garrett Wilson had a strong game on the fourth line, contributing to Florida's ability to outplay the Islanders 5-on-5. Wilson made the most of his limited ice time -- he played fewer than eight minutes -- and had four hits.

What's next: The series shifts back to BB&T Center for Game 5 on Friday (8 p.m. ET; CNBS, SN, TVA Sports, SUN, MSG+). The Islanders will get one more home game Sunday regardless of the outcome.

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