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Discuss: Panthers win first playoff game since 1997, tie series 1-1

Apr 15, 2012, 10:14 PM EDT

Stephen Weiss, Tomas Kopecky Getty Images

After accomplishing a feat they hadn’t managed in 12 years (making the playoffs), the Florida Panthers pulled off something they hadn’t done in 15: actually winning a postseason contest. Not since April 17, 1997 had the Panthers prevailed in a big way – the longest gap in playoff wins in NHL history, according to NBC Sports Network – as the cascade of plastic rats provided a symbolic moment of arrival. The New Jersey Devils cannot totally disregard the seemingly weak third seed any longer now that the series is tied 1-1 thanks to a 4-2 Florida win.

Let’s get the discussion started.

  • Stephen Weiss became the first Panthers player to score two power-play goals in a single playoff game. Is there a player in the entire postseason group of 16 that deserves some relief more than him?
  • Shots on goal don’t tell everything, but they’re a solid indicator of effort from time to time. I’d say it shows in the Devils work to some degree; they went from four in the first to nine in the second and then 12 in the final frame. Is New Jersey’s seemingly uneven play a sign that the Devils aren’t taking the Panthers seriously, that they’re not very good or perhaps a combination of the two? Or something else?
  • So, tell us: what were you doing in April 1997? Were you watching the New York Rangers face the Panthers in Miami, by any chance?
  • The Devils “have home ice advantage,” yet this was a confidence-builder for the Panthers. Do you think Florida has a real chance to win the series?
  1. bluesrawesome - Apr 15, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    In 1997 I was being born.

  2. dolfan1425 - Apr 15, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Panthers are gonna grind this series out! Weiss, Campbell, and Jovanovaski are beast!

  3. floridaflyer - Apr 15, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    Panthers never played the rangers. played bruins, flyers, pens, and Avs

    • govtminion - Apr 16, 2012 at 10:04 AM

      You’re thinking ’96, when they made their Cup Finals run. The following year, ’97, is when they faced the Rangers.

  4. blkeskimo1785 - Apr 16, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    They played the Rangers in the 1997 quarterfinals. They won Game 1 and then lost the next 4.

  5. boltsfan777 - Apr 16, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    What happens to all those rats? Will they get recycled and redistributed at the gate hoping they will get used again?

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