As the game continued, the Devils seemed less and less comfortable with the conditions in their own rink, while the Panthers put their heads down and ground the puck around the ice, generally avoiding icing calls on defensive clears by using the slower surface to their advantage. The same "soupy" conditions also came into play as the Devils attempted to tie the game in the final seconds of regulation, with Patrik Elias and Zach Parise both struggling to settle down the puck before attempting shots.
The ice conditions were not totally deliberate -- much can be put at the feet of the New Jersey Nets game on Monday evening -- but by skating through the degraded conditions, the Panthers may well have been given the edge they needed to take the lead in this series.
More on the psychological ramifications of the reportedly "poor" ice conditions at Prudential Center, and how they may have affected the Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils, from SBN's Matt Wagner here. Video, recaps, links, results and today's NHL Playoff schedule after the jump...
Tuesday's other NHL Playoff action:
- (4) NSH over (5) DET, 3-1: Rinne has stopped 130 of 138 shots in series; Preds lead 3-1.
- (3) PHX over (6) CHI, 3-2 (OT): Klesla's 1G/2A help Yotes to a 2-1 series lead.
On tap for this evening
- (4) Pittsburgh at (5) Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m. (NBC-SN): Flyers lead 3-0
- (1) NY Rangers at (8) Ottawa, 7:30 p.m. (CNBC): Rangers lead 2-1
- (1) Vancouver at (8) Los Angeles, 10 p.m. (NBC-SN): Kings lead 3-0
Ahead for us
Game Four coming our way tomorrow, 7 p.m. (FS-FLA, MSG+, NHLN) while the LBC Game Thread powers up at 6. And now that we know at the very least what we'll be focusing on come Saturday, tickets do remain (starting at $41 as of 11 a.m.).