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NEW YORK – Alex Petrovic scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period and the Florida Panthers beat the New York Islanders 2-1 on Wednesday night to even their first-round playoff series at two games apiece.
Teddy Purcell also scored for Florida and Jaromir Jagr had an assist for his 200th career playoff point. Roberto Luongo stopped 26 shots.
John Tavares had his third goal of the series for New York, and Thomas Greiss finished with 27 saves.
The Panthers got their first playoff road win since April 17, 2012, against New Jersey in Game 3 of the first round.
Game 5 of the best-of-seven series is Friday night in Sunrise, Florida.
On the go-ahead goal, Petrovic got the puck up high near the middle, slowly skated to the right and fired a shot into the top left corner past Greiss to put the Panthers ahead 2-1 at 9:25 of the third.
The Panthers nearly scored with 9:15 left in the second when Jonathan Huberdeau had a breakaway and his shot was stopped by Greiss. Huberdeau slid into Greiss and the puck was knocked loose and went over the line. No goal was called on the ice and the play was reviewed and the call was upheld. Panthers coach Gerard Gallant was upset over the non-goal and used his challenge. After a lengthy review, the non-goal call was upheld again, much to the delight of the home crowd.
About 90 seconds after play resumed, the Islanders' Josh Bailey jammed a puck out of Luongo's pads and across the line, but the officials waved it off because the whistle had blown.
The Panthers finally got on the scoreboard first late in the second period. About a minute after the Islanders' Matt Martin was sent off for tripping Nick Bjugstad, Greiss slid to the left to knock away Jagr's tip attempt. However Jagr got the puck behind the net, skated around and fed Purcell, who fired it in as Greiss was getting back in position. The assist, Jagr's 200th career postseason point, was his 122nd in the playoffs, breaking a tie with Al MacInnis and Glenn Anderson for sole possession of ninth place on the NHL list.
Penalties to Aleksander Barkov and Dmitry Kulikov gave the Islanders a 5-on-3 for 39 seconds in the final minute of the second. New York took advantage as Pulock passed to Tavares on the right side and the captain skated in and wristed a shot past Luongo to tie it with 16 seconds remaining — just after the first penalty expired.
The Panthers had a 10-5 advantage on shots in a tightly played first period. Florida had a power play just 2:04 in as Casey Cizikas was whistled for tripping Brian Campbell. Nick Bjugstad had their lone shot during the man advantage, but his snap shot was stopped by Greiss.
The Islanders got one shot on goal in their lone power play about six minutes in as Okposo's shot fluttered in the air and deflected up off Luongo's mask.
Greiss stopped Bjugstad's backhand from the left side about 8 minutes in, and also made a nice stop on Reilly Smith's wrist shot from in close with about 3 1/2 minutes left in the first.
NOTES: Panthers C Vincent Trochek and D Steven Kampfer have not played in the series while recovering from lower-body injuries, though Gallant again said earlier Wednesday they were close. ... Florida used 11 forwards and 10 defensemen, with Jakub Kindl replacing C Greg McKegg ... Jagr, who has not scored a goal in 35 consecutive playoff games, played in his 206th postseason game — breaking a tie with former Devils goalie Martin Brodeur for 17th place in NHL history. ... Tavares, who also has four assists in the series, now has 10 goals and 11 assists in his last 14 games. He also has scored a goal in seven of his last eight games, including the regular season. ... The Islanders fell to 11-4-3 at home since the All-Star break.
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