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Panthers Vs. Devils, 2012 NHL Playoffs Game 7: Panthers Tie It Up In Dramatic Fashion, Headed To Overtime

The Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils are headed to overtime in Game 7. After just two shots in the second period, the Florida offense came alive, titling the ice and peppering Martin Brodeur throughout the period. They had 18 shots on goal, and constant scoring chances.

It appeared the Cats finally got on the board just minutes into the third period, when it appeared Tomas Fleischmann scored. But the goal was immediately waved off when the referee ruled that Shawn Matthias interfered with Martin Brodeur. It looked like Mathias was pushed by Adam Henrique, and it was a questionable call at best. They refs have the option to call no goal and no penalty, but they opted to put Mathias in the box.

The Panthers finally broke through, scoring a power play goal to create some life with 15 minutes remaining in the third period. Stephen Weiss and Brian Campbell went back-and-forth with a couple touch passes out top. Campbell a pass right back Weiss for a one-timer, a perfect shot that went to the top shelf on the short side. Brodeur could not get across the crease in time, and Weiss got the shot off so quickly with exact precision.

Florida continued to apply constant and heavy pressure in the offensive zone, challenging Brodeur almost every minute with an excellent scoring chance. Then, with less than four minutes remaining Marek Zildicky was whistled for a delay of game call as he tried to hastily clear the puck during the assault by the Cats.

And the Panthers responded right away, prompt scoring the equalizing goal just three and half minutes before their season would have ended. The No. 1 penalty kill, the Devils killed off just under 90 percent of their penalties this season, but Florida scored nine times on the power play during the series. Marcel Goc was the one who tied it up, taking a rebound from the bad angle as he rushed to the net and slamming it home past Brodeur. Tomas Kopecky battled in front, creating a screen for the Sean Bergenheim shot which led to the big rebound off Brodeur. Video of the goal below:

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.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.