Devils Vs. Panthers, 2012 NHL Playoffs Game 3: Florida Perfect On Power Play, Scores Four Unanswered To Take Lead

After quickly falling behind by three goals to start Game 3 against the New Jersey Devils, the Florida Panthers stormed back with four unanswered goals to take a 4-3 lead. The Cats' four goals came in a ten minute span at the end of the first period and start of the second period, chasing Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur early in the second. But his replacement, Johan Hedberg, wasn't on the ice long before letting in the go-ahead goal. Both starting goaltenders have now been removed, with Jose Theodore exiting early after allowing three goals in the first six minutes. The Cats have been amazing on the power play, going a perfect three for three to get right back in it after an ugly start.

Mike Weaver, who did not score a goal all season, evened it up for the Panthers with a puck that somehow found its way through traffic in front. Weaver controlled the puck at the right point, and simply put a wrister on net that went through the screen of Scottie Upshall and tied it at 3-3 early in the second period. Video of the goal below:

Just four minutes later, the Panthers would take the lead on their third power play goal of the game. It started with a great face-off win in the zone, with Mikael Samuelsson controlling the puck out top. He would rotate the puck over to Brian Campbell, who had a ton of room, taking advantage of Ilya Kovalchuk who came out too far. Campbell had so much room he could have taken it all the way to the net but he rocketed a wrist shot through a screen and under the arm of Hedberg to give the Cats their first lead of the game. Video of the goal below:

Campbell did not score a goal all year on the road, but it didn't take long for him to tally one in the playoffs. It was the first time the Devils had allowed three power play goals in a game in almost a year and a half.

At the end of the period, it appeared the Devils tied it up as a Marek Zidlicky shot from the point went through the legs of Scott Clemmensen. But the goal was immediately waved off, as the referee ruled interference on Steve Bernier, who tripped and fell on top of the leg of Florida's netminder. It was ruled that he fell on his own, and not at the hands of an Ed Jovanovski shove. An animated gif of the play below:

Bernier_interference_medium

For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Panthers' playoff push, visit Litter Box Cats. For the opponent's perspective throughout the series, head over to In Lou We Trust. For all your hockey news and notes and more on each playoff series, keep up with SB Nation's dedicated NHL hub.

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