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Zidlicky and Andy Greene were the only Devils over 30 minutes (the game went to double OT).
Adam Henrique scored his first two goals of the series, including the winner.
Florida absolutely crushed New Jersey on faceoffs, but that didn’t make the difference last night. Smithson and Goc were a combined 32 wins and 11 losses in the circle.
Tomas Fleischmann played the series with a broken hand – impressive stuff. I thought he looked pretty good for much of the series, too.
Stephen Weiss had a phenomenal game – he scored a goal and played close to 30 minutes. Also fired six shots on goal.
Mike Weaver led the Panthers with 10 hits.
Brian Campbell was one shift shy of hitting the 40-minute mark.
Derek Stepan has been arguably the best Ranger forward over the past few games. Encouraging sign as they now move on to the stingy Capitals squad.
The DobberHockey panel selections for Round 2 will be up at some point early Friday evening.
Henrik Lundqvist was a difference-maker for the Rangers last night. For all of his regular season successes, he hasn't done it in the playoffs… yet. Last night was a huge step in the right direction.
Full marks to the Sens – many had them pegged as 14th or 15th in the East. Great coaching, great goaltending, and some standout performances from Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza propelled them to a very evenly played seven game series against the best team in the Eastern Conference.
Eddie Lack may be ready for the NHL, but current teammate in Chicago, Nolan Baumgartner, believes he is a year or two away.
""He's probably a year or possibly two away," said the 36-year-old UFA blueliner who would like to return to the organization next season. "He still has some learning to do and there's no better place than the AHL. To go and back up somebody, I think it would be detrimental for him to be sitting on the bench most of the year and not get in games. He's got the skill set, it's just the maturity and learning how to be a pro and he'll be set after that."
The Roberto Luongo situation is an interesting one, and it definitely deserves its own column. I hope I'll get around to writing one in due time. Until then, I'll ramble on my thoughts regarding prospective destinations:
Tampa Bay – the Lightning make the most sense. They need a goalie, Luongo would love to play in Florida, and there is the connection with Yzerman because of the Olympics. Luongo likely wouldn't fetch a huge return (I laughed at Victor Hedman's name being tossed around on TV). I'd guess either Ryan Malone or a prospect like Brett Connolly would be coming to Vancouver.
Florida – Jacob Markstrom is the goalie of the future, but is he ready now? Even if he isn't, the Panthers are probably better off going with