Like I said before the first game, the next game is the biggest, and that’s the way it is in the playoffs. When the first game’s over, the next one is second and [you] always see the next one now that you’re getting towards the end of the first round. I was in a situation down 3-1, we came back and won in Game 7. [Game 5 is] a huge game — for sure it is — but I think until you win four it’s hard to say which one’s the biggest.
Not that it makes much of a difference, but that theoretical -24 goal differential that is constantly brought up is, in reality, a -19. The extra 5 comes from the out-of-thin-air goal teams are awarded for shootout victories (in which the Panthers lost five more than they won).
I’m a Caps fan, but in the interest of fairness, playoff games are decided based on full-time 5-on-5, not in 4-on-4 overtime or the shootout. The Panthers in regulation this season were 31-26. The Devils were 32-28. It’s more even than most are giving credit for.