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Post-Game Notes: Panthers 4, Devils 3

by Carly Peters / Florida Panthers

The Panthers earned their largest playoff comeback in franchise history. Florida overcame a three-goal deficit in the first period, when they previously only had three, one-goal comebacks in postseason history – most recently in a 4-3 win vs. Pittsburgh on May 30, 1996. This victory comes after the Panthers earned a 4-3 comeback win against New Jersey on Nov. 21 in Sunrise after trailing 3-0 – the largest regulation comeback win in Panthers history.

Florida set a franchise playoff record with three power play goals in the game, breaking their previous high of two set multiple times. The Panthers went 3-for-3 on the power play and moved to 5-for-9 on the power play in the series.  It was the first time in Devils franchise history that New Jersey has allowed three power-play goal on home ice during the playoffs.

The Panthers earned their first road playoff win since capturing the Prince of Wales Trophy with a 3-1 win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on June 1, 1996 at Pittsburgh.

All the games of this series have begun with a team grabbing a 3-0 lead, though this is the first time the trailing team has comeback to win.

Scott Clemmensen earned an assist on the first Panthers goal and stopped all 19 shots he faced in relief. In just his second career playoff appearance, he earned his first win. Entering the postseason, he went 4-0-0 in five career games vs. New Jersey, with a .937 SV% and a 2.05 GAA. He won his only game against his former team this season, stopping 27-of-28 shots in a 3-1 victory Feb. 11 in New Jersey. He was selected by the Devils in the eighth round (215th overall) of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft and played in 65 regular-season games with New Jersey, and seven minutes in his only postseason appearance.

Exactly 16 years ago tonight, Florida played in its first playoff game, a 6-3 win vs. Boston in the 1996 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Zach Parise scored :33 into the game, the fastest goal against to start a game in Panthers postseason history. Mark Messier previously scored for the Rangers :39 into the game on April 25, 1997. It comes one game after Stephen Weiss set a Panthers franchise record by scoring :23 into the opening period Sunday.

Sean Bergenheim got the Panthers on the board and added an assist in the game. He now has points in every game this series and has totaled 15 points (11-4-15) in 19 career playoff games. He totaled a career-high 17 goals in 62 regular-season games and his 15 points (9-6-15) in 27 regular-season games against New Jersey are his most against any NHL opponent.

Mike Weaver scored the tying goal for his first playoff point in seven career games. He set career highs in assists and points this season (0-16-16).

Scottie Upshall matched his career playoff high with two assists on the evening. He now has nine points (3-6-9) in 22 playoff games.

Brian Campbell scored the game winner and added an assist for his third point in three playoff games (1-2-3). He has 41 points (9-32-41) in 93 career playoff games. After coming to Florida in a trade during the 2011 NHL Entry Draft – a move which many say most-influenced the changeover on the Panthers’ roster – Brian Campbell had an All-Star season, totaling an assist and leading all skaters with a +7 rating and 21:40 TOI at the mid-season classic. He T-1st in the NHL with Duncan Keith for TOI/game (26:53) while totaling only 6 PIM  (his first penalty coming after accidentally shooting the puck out of play). He ranked T-2nd among all NHL defensemen with 53 points (4-49-53) in 82 games. He set a franchise record for defensemen with 30 power-play assists and tied a franchise record for defensemen with 49 helpers.

In his first NHL postseason, Jason Garrison scored his first career playoff goal with his second points in as many games (1-1-2). Heading into the year, he had totaled 26 points (7-19-26) in 113 career games spanning three seasons. He shattered that total by netting 33 points (16-17-33) in 77 games. His 16th goal on March 23 set a Panthers franchise record for most goals by a defenseman in a single season and he tied a franchise record for most power-play goals by a defenseman with 9 – just one second away from breaking the mark on March 13. His first 13 goals of the season were all slapshots from the point, with his defensive partner, Brian Campbell, earning an assist on most of them.

For the third straight game, Mikael Samuelsson tallied at least one assist and now has four helpers in the three playoff games. He now has 57 points (22-35-57) in 95 career playoff games. The Stanley Cup winner totaled 28 points (13-15-28) in 48 games with Florida during the regular-season after registering a goal and two assists in three games with Vancouver to start the season.

In his first game of this postseason, Jerred Smithson tallied an assist. He now has four points (2-2-4) in 32 playoff games.

Florida earned its third win in its seventh Game 3, having not won the third game of a series since taking a 5-2 win vs. Pittsburgh on May 24 in the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals.

Two players missed the game with injuries, as Florida has now lost six man games to injury in the postseason, after losing 340 man games to injury during the regular season.

Game 1: Friday, April 13 vs. New Jersey – Devils 3, Panthers 2
Game 2: Sunday, April 15 vs. New Jersey – Panthers 4, Devils 2
Game 3: Tuesday, April 17 at New Jersey – Panthers 4, Devils 3
Game 4: Thursday, April 19 at New Jersey, 7 p.m. (FS Florida, NHL Network, TSN)
Game 5: Saturday, April 21 vs. New Jersey 6:30 p.m. (NHL Network, TSN)
*Game 6: Tuesday, April 24 at New Jersey TBD (TBD)
*Game 7: Thursday, April 26 vs. New Jersey TBD (TBD)
*If necessary
A complete review of the Panthers’ 2011-12 regular season, along with team and player postseason statistics can be accessed at:
The Panthers’ 2011-12 regular-season guide can be accessed at
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