After 40 minutes in Newark, the Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils are tied 2-2. Despite being badly out-shot, the Cats clawed back to even scoring just two goals on four second-period shots.
The Devils took the 2-0 lead at the end of a power play, the first of the game. It was a perfectly executed play, rotating the puck for an open shot. Florida overplayed the left side of the ice and Ilya Kovalchuk skated in the back door for a wide open shot which he easily put in the back of the net. Video of the goal below:
But the Panthers finally broke through seven minutes into the second when Stephen Weiss carried it into the zone down the left wing, centering it to Kris Versteeg in front. Weiss showed good patience brining the puck all the way down the ice and cutting toward the net. Versteeg flashed in front of the crease and quickly put a low shot on net that snuck by Brodeur. It was the first shot of the period for the Cats, but they certainly made it count. Video of the goal:
Versteeg's goal marked the first time in the series neither team took a 3-0 lead in a game. The Cats would then even it up five minutes later with a Sean Bergenheim goal. The Devils pleaded for a penalty on the either end when Kovalchuk went down to the ice, but Florida went racing the other way. Tyson Strachan stepped up and fired a relatively easy shot for Brodeur to handle but it skirted through his legs and Bergenheim was there to scoop it up and dunk it in the back of the net. Video of the goal below:
The start of the third will be huge for Florida, as they will have to kill off the tail end of a Scottie Upshall roughing penalty. The Devils have been on the attack all evening, so killing off the first thirty seconds will be crucial.
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.