For whatever reason, I’m tracking scoring chances in the Florida and New Jersey series, and, seeing as the Panthers are the Southeast Division brethren/rivals of the Winnipeg Jets, it may be of some interest to post these numbers here. Or, visiting Devils or Panthers fans may frequent this blog, because it has posted information pertaining to their teams they can’t get anywhere else:
New Jersey came out flying, out-chancing Florida 10-4 in the first period and putting three pucks past Jose Theodore. New Jersey then went into recoil mode and the Panthers slowly chipped away, with an outburst late in the period to give them a 7-1 edge. They also scored twice to bring the score to 3-2. New Jersey would shut them down for good in the third, limiting them to two chances, and getting three late ones, neither of them accounting for goals.
Florida wouldn’t get their first even strength scoring chance until the third period, but after two, the count was 9-8 in the Panthers’ favour. All nine of their chances came on specialty teams, including six of them on a prolonged 5-on-3 that resulted in a goal after its expiry. The Devils would run show at evens in this one, finishing 18-4, but, like happened to Florida in Game 1, they let Florida get a 3-0 lead, and then made it close with two late goals.
TWO THINGS ARE APPARENT…
The way the Panthers won Game 2 is how they could win the series. Their goaltending is better and their special teams may be better. New Jersey have been dominant at even strength, however, and the player numbers will reflect that. The Devils’ top guys haven’t spent an awful lot of time in their own end:
The top line of Travis Zajac-Zach Parise-Ilya Kovalchuk has been mustard, strong in both ends. Marek Zidlicky is doing some good things on offence.
Here are Florida’s numbers:
According to Behind The Net, Parise’s line sees a lot of minutes against Tomas Fleischmann-Kris Versteeg-Stephen Weiss. Not surprising that the Devils forwards have pummelled that unit at the other end of the ice. Marcel Goc has been playing with Sean Bergenheim and Mikael Samuelsson and they’ve been Florida’s best unit, out against Alexei Ponikarovsky-Adam Henrique-David Clarkson, who are otherwise high pluses.
Overall, after two games, it breaks down like so:
|Period||Tot NJD||Tot FLA||EV NJD||EV FLA||ST NJD||ST FLA|
Score effects don’t play a huge role because the games have been pretty balanced by way of scoring. New Jersey carry a very heavy advantage at even strength. Their superiority 5-on-5 should carry them through this series, unless Kevin Dineen’s Panthers can find a way to shut down those top two New Jersey units.
For more information on what’s defined as a scoring chance, click here.