Skip to main content

Headlines

playoffs

Instant analysis: Panthers vs. Islanders, Game 2

Smith, Luongo help Florida salvage home split against New York

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

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers defeated the New York Islanders 3-1 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round at BB&T Center on Friday. The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1.

Florida killed two New York power plays in the first period without allowing any quality chances. The Panthers penalty kill was ranked 24th in the NHL during the regular season.

What we learned: The teams head to Barclays Center in New York with a split. Florida forward Reilly Smith continues to produce in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (he scored his third goal of the series Friday), and Roberto Luongo made 41 saves.

Video: NYI@FLA, Gm2: Smith bangs in rebound past Greiss

What this means for the Islanders: New York received another solid performance from goalie Thomas Greiss (28 saves) but failed to win back-to-back playoff games for the first time since 2002. By getting a split on the road, the Islanders have home-ice advantage in the series with three of the five remaining games scheduled for Barclays Center. They'll need to do a better job at home of taking quality shots when they get them; defenseman Calvin de Haan and forward Ryan Strome each passed up an open opportunity despite a Grade A chance.

What this means for the Panthers: Florida can breathe a sigh of relief after Luongo's performance in Game 2. Playing on back-to-back nights, Luongo responded Friday after allowing five goals on 26 shots in a 5-4 loss in Game 1, coming within 3:33 of a shutout before Islanders center John Tavares scored.

Video: NYI@FLA, Gm2: Tavares bangs rebound past Luongo

Key moment: With the Panthers leading 2-0, Luongo made a right-pad save midway through the second period on a one-timer by Strome. Luongo made 27 saves through two periods.

Unsung player of the game: Smith was a major contributor for the Panthers in the first two games of this series. After getting two goals in Game 1, Smith opened the scoring at 4:32 of the first period Friday to give him seven goals in 14 playoff games.

What's next: Game 3 is at Barclays Center on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports 2, MSG+, FS-F). It will be the first playoff game at the Islanders new home; they were 25-11-5 there during the regular season.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.