fbpx
Favorites

© 2022 BVM Sports. Best Version Media, LLC.

Favorites

Varlamov stops 27 shots, Isles beat Panthers 2-1 in Game 1

Varlamov stops 27 shots, Isles beat Panthers 2-1 in Game 1
Islanders Panthers Hockey - AP Photo/Frank Gunn

TORONTO (AP) — Semyon Varlamov stopped 27 shots and the New York Islanders opened their best-of-five playoff series with a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday in the NHL’s return following a 4 1/2-month break.

Anthony Beauvillier scored the decisive goal on a power play at 3:39 of the second period. The goal was scored a little over a minute after Florida’s Mike Matheson was penalized for a hit to the head on defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who did not return.

Coach Barry Trotz didn’t have an update on Boychuk following the game, but was pleased in how the Islanders not only stayed disciplined immediately following the hit, but also capitalized on the penalty.

“The best way to respond after a hit or whatever is a goal on the power play,” Trotz said.

Islanders trade deadline addition Jean-Gabriel Pageau opened the scoring re-directing in Derick Brassard’s centering pass 12 minutes into the game.

Jonathan Huberdeau scored 23 seconds into the third period for Florida’s lone goal.

The Islanders entered the NHL’s 24-team expanded playoff as the Eastern Conference’s seventh seed, while the Panthers are 10th.

Florida’s Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 26 shots in his first start since Feb. 29. Bobrovsky missed the Panthers’ final four games due to injury before the NHL season was paused on March 12.

The Islanders beat Florida for the fifth straight time, dating to the 2018-19 regular season, and continued keeping the high-scoring Panthers in check.

“We did it the right way,” Beauvillier said. “A really quick pace. It was a tough game out there. The whole team was ready for it.”

Florida finished this coronavirus pandemic-shortened season ranked fourth in the NHL in averaging 3.3 goals per game, but has now managed just five goals in four games against the Islanders.

Aleksander Barkov, who assisted on Huberdeau’s goal, said the Panthers lacked second-chance opportunities.

“We were kind of like one and done,” Barkov said. “That’s how (the Islanders) are going to play, and we just need to figure out how to create more chances.”

The Panthers managed just four shots after Huberdeau scored. And their most sustained pressure occurred midway through the second period, when they controlled the play in the New York zone for about a minute.

The Islanders finally cleared the zone after defenseman Ryan Pulock blocked a shot, forcing a turnover.

The Panthers are suddenly in a familiar hole in their bid to win just the franchise’s second playoff series, and first since reaching the 1996 Stanley Cup Final, which Florida lost in four games to Colorado.

The Panthers have not advanced beyond the first round in each of their past five playoff appearances since.

Varlamov shook off a late-season slump in which he went 0-2-2 and allowed 18 goals in five appearances, and earned his 14th career playoff win, and first since with Colorado in 2014.

Boychuk was hurt while crossing the Florida blue line after dumping the puck into the zone, when Matheson lowered his shoulder and caught the Islanders player directly in the head.

Boychuk lay face down on the ice before slowly getting up and headed directly to the locker room.

An officials’ review led to Matheson being issued a minor penalty for an illegal check.

The Islanders capitalized on the ensuing power play with Beauvillier one-timing in Devon Toews’ pass into the right circle.

Huberdeau scored on an odd-man rush, in which he was allowed to cut in alone from the left wing and slip a shot under Varlamov.

NOTES: Panthers’ Joel Quenneville coached his 216th career playoff game, which ranks second on the all-time list. His 118 wins ranks third on the list, and remains five short of matching former Islanders coach Al Arbour, who ranks second. … This is the second playoff meeting after the Islanders eliminated the Panthers in six games of a first-round series in 2016. Florida has four players left on its roster from that series, Huberdeau, Matheson, Aleksander Barkov and Aaron Ekblad, while the Isles have 10. … The Islanders got the benefit of celebrating Pageau’s goal to the familiar home-arena sound of The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop.”

UP NEXT

Game 2 Tuesday at noon EDT.

___

For more AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Get local sports news direct to your inbox

Originals

more
Top PG Robert Dillingham chooses Kentucky

Top PG Robert Dillingham chooses Kentucky

The latest prep prospect to change his collegiate destination is Robert Dillingham, who committed to…

Noah LaFine proving upside as Vanderbilt baseball commit

Noah LaFine proving upside as Vanderbilt baseball commit

Noah LaFine committed to Vanderbilt and won a state championship at Archbishop Hoban as just…

Ranking the Big Ten football coaches going into 2022

Ranking the Big Ten football coaches going into 2022

Who are the best football coaches in the Big Ten?

Carson Pickett’s historical USWNT debut with a limb difference

Carson Pickett’s historical USWNT debut with a limb difference

Carson Pickett makes history as the first player to play for the USWNT with a…

Sean Stewart brings family pedigree to Duke

Sean Stewart brings family pedigree to Duke

Sean Stewart will get the opportunity to suit up for the Blue Devils.

Giannis, Thanasis Antetokounmpo portrayed by Agada brothers in ‘Rise’

Giannis, Thanasis Antetokounmpo portrayed by Agada brothers in ‘Rise’

Disney’s ‘Rise’ tells the story of Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokoumnpo’s path to the NBA…

Mike Grier to become first Black NHL general manager

Mike Grier to become first Black NHL general manager

Mike Grier is set to add to that history as he becomes the first Black…

Jace Arnold joins Badgers as highest-rated 2023 recruit

Jace Arnold joins Badgers as highest-rated 2023 recruit

Jace Arnold is the highest-rated football recruit to commit to the Wisconsin Badgers.

A look back at the 2020 Tampa Bay Rays

A look back at the 2020 Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays came into the 2020 season with high expectations for themselves and…

Notre Dame commit David Lally looking toward MLB future

Notre Dame commit David Lally looking toward MLB future

David Lally had a tremendous career at Grand Blanc that included a state title and…

Louisville commit Zion Rose concludes special junior season

Louisville commit Zion Rose concludes special junior season

Zion Rose is one of the top Class of 2023 players in Illinois and one…

Eric Brown’s journey from 0 offers to 2022 MLB Draft prospect

Eric Brown’s journey from 0 offers to 2022 MLB Draft prospect

Eric Brown put his faith in God and now he is a potential first-round MLB…

Mitchell Robinson back with New York Knicks: Instant reaction

Mitchell Robinson back with New York Knicks: Instant reaction

Mitchell Robinson is back with the Knicks after agreeing to a new contract. Here is…

Mark Johnson looks to climb the mountain again with Wisconsin

Mark Johnson looks to climb the mountain again with Wisconsin

Mark Johnson will look to add to his historic resume in his 20th season as…

Ryan Niblett ready to bring track speed to Texas football

Ryan Niblett ready to bring track speed to Texas football

Texas Longhorns’ four-star WR commit Ryan Niblett will team up in Austin with No. 1-ranked…

Future Badger Paytn Monticelli now a two-time Gatorade POY

Future Badger Paytn Monticelli now a two-time Gatorade POY

Two-time Gatorade Wisconsin Softball Player of the Year Paytn Monticelli is continuing her career with…

Bobby Portis returning to Bucks on four-year, $49 million deal

Bobby Portis returning to Bucks on four-year, $49 million deal

After being an integral part of the Bucks’ championship run in 2021 and having a…

Kevin Durant requests trade from Nets; Which team lands KD?

Kevin Durant requests trade from Nets; Which team lands KD?

Kevin Durant has requested out of Brooklyn to set up one of the biggest trades…

Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks: Instant reaction

Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks: Instant reaction

Jalen Brunson is finally a Knick. Here is everything you need to know:

Nick Van Exel is perfect for Trae Young, Dejounte Murray

Nick Van Exel is perfect for Trae Young, Dejounte Murray

Nick Van Exel, a fan favorite point guard from his time in the NBA and…