SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 15: Marcel Goc #57 of the Florida Panthers runs into Andy Greene #6 as goaltender Martin Brodeur #30 of the New Jersey Devils also falls to the ice in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the BankAtlantic Center on April 15, 2012 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
This weekend may have featured brawls of just about every description up and down the eight existing NHL playoff matchups, but Sunrise escaped the escalating mayhem by producing a spectacularly entertaining game Sunday on the wings of a mere 12 minutes in penalties - total. That followed Friday's opener which finished with only 10 minutes more; astounding numbers considering the mindless madness which has enveloped the league in recent days.
Conversely, hits have climbed from 92 to 102 in the two games, indicative of a climbing level of disciplined intensity. And if you thought Florida's Ed Jovanovski was finished, consider this: the 6-3" 35 year-old Panthers blueliner led both clubs with 7 hits Sunday, up from 2 in the previous game.
Sunday's NHL Playoff action
- (5) PHI over (4) PIT, 8-4: Briere's 5 points (2G) highlight what became '70s Throwback Night at Wells Fargo Center; Flyers lead series 3-0.
- (4) NSH over (5) DET, 3-2 (REG): To no avail, Wings peppered Rinne with 43 shots as Howard stopped 19; Predators lead series 2-1.
- (8) LA over (1) VAN, 1-0 (REG): Might be a wise time to dust off the kevlar and polish up the lexan in B.C.; Kings lead series 3-0.
- (1) NY Rangers at (8) Ottawa, 7:30 p.m. (CNBC): Series tied at 1
- (2) Boston at (7) Washington, 7:30 p.m. (NBC-SN): Series tied at 1
- (2) St. Louis at (7) San Jose, 10 p.m. (NBC-SN): Series tied at 1
Ahead for us
- The Panthers are headed to Newark for a 7 p.m. clash with the Devils on Tuesday in Game Three of their quarterfinal series. Note that the game will not be presented by FS-Florida, but on sister network Sun Sports. The LBC Game Thread will begin its frontal assault at 6.
- Watch Parties are scheduled for both road games at Duffy's in Plantation; safely assume they get underway about an hour before puck-drop (here's a little more, but the times listed are a bit screwy).
- Our good friend Kywi has suggested a meetup/watch party at the Saveology Iceplex (Panthers' practice facility w/ a sports bar) in Coral Springs. Sounds like a great idea.
In New Jersey for the games? ILWT's John Fischer was kind enough to lend us a few ideas as to where to hang before and after the matches:
Popular hangouts for Devils fans before the games around the Rock include the Brick City Bar & Grill, Loft 47, and Edison Ale House - all right across the street from the Prudential Center. A little further away, but still in walking distance, is Hell's Kitchen, which is quite popular.
If you are planning to attend either of the games please let us know - in the comments - and we'll try to hook a few of you together.
- With a 1-0 home victory over Oklahoma City on Sunday the Rampage clinched a spot in the AHL's Western Conference playoffs for the first time in four years. Lots more on San Antonio and all of Florida's active prospects coming up this evening from Alex.
- Seeking tickets for Saturday's Game Five? As always check out our pals at TiqIQ.