The Stanley Cup Playoffs are underway, and despite putting up 46 shots, the Cats fell to the Islanders by a score of 5-4 in the series opener.
Reilly Smith scored twice, including a wicked snipe past Thomas Greiss to pull the Cats within a goal. Jussi Jokinen assisted on both of Smith's goals and added one of his own. But a late push wasn’t quite enough for the Cats to take Game 1.
The Cats get another shot at it tonight on home ice
, before the series moves back to Brooklyn.
A Pregame Lightshow
Everyone knew about the free t-shirts given to every fan in the building last night, but those weren’t the only goodies waiting for fans last night. In addition to the shirt, the Panthers gave out foam glow-sticks to every fan in attendance.
And, well, it was quite a sight to see when the lights went down.
Islanders and Panthers Connected
Two New York Islanders legends have made their homes here in South Florida, as members of the Panthers organization. And despite their history with the Isles, each let their allegiances be known this week.
Bill Torrey – whose name is attached to the number 93 hung in the rafters at the BB&T Center – is a key figure in the history of both franchises. He built the 1980’s Islanders dynasty, winning four Stanley Cups before heading up the Panthers as an expansion franchise.
And despite a few of his New York relatives still pulling for the Islanders, Torrey’s heart lies with his current home.
"But let's make it clear, I know where my allegiances are and have been for a good many years. So there's no doubt about that."
NHL.com’s Alain Poupart has the full feature for your reading enjoyment
. Poupart’s colleague, Brian Compton, wrote about another Hall of Famer whose allegiances have shifted southward.
Denis Potvin – another Hockey Hall of Famer and one of the best players in Islanders history – has been in Florida since the Panthers’ inception in 1993, save for a stint in Ottawa.The full feature on Potvin can be read here.
Highlight of the Week
Shortly after the pregame lightshow – just 1:55 into the game – Panthers trade deadline acquisitions Jiri Hudler and Teddy Purcell connected for the first Cats goal of the postseason.
It gets even better with Arley Londoño’s call from the ESPN Deportes Miami broadcast. The Deportes crew has done every Cats home game this season, but they’ll also be covering road games this postseason, so keep your eye out for more awesome Spanish goal calls.