If there's been a calm, relaxed, penalty-free series in this quarterfinal round of the NHL playoffs, it's come in the Eastern Conference matchup between the Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils. But as is usually atypical in a Game 7, the whistles have come out in the decisive game, and that may wind up having an impact on which team advances to the second round.
10 penalties have been called against the two teams in total, and on a 4-on-3 power play at the 5:02 mark of the third period, Stephen Weiss was able to put a puck behind Martin Brodeur to cut the New Jersey lead to 2-1, and suddenly the Cats have life.
Florida fell behind early in more ways than one. Adam Henrique scored just 1:29 into the game, and on the shift immediately following the goal, John Madden left the game after a nasty collision with teammate Tomas Kopecky. But Madden returned for the second period, and after Stephen Gionta scored midway through the second period to give New Jersey a 2-0 lead, it seemed as though the Panthers were dead.
They are not. There's still playoff life in Florida as the third period clock winds down. Game 7.