The Florida Panthers dropped the opening game of the first round to the New York Islanders by a final of 5-4 on Thursday.
The game was played at BB&T Center which means New York now has the home-ice advantage. By losing game one at home, Florida has put itself in a position where a win in game two becomes almost a necessity. That game will also be on Florida's home-ice.
Florida's first playoff goal since the 2011-12 season came quickly when Teddy Purcell scored at the 1:55 mark of the first period. Jiri Hudler and Dmitry Kulikov assisted on the goal that put Florida up 1-0.
After New York tied the game, Jussi Jokinen put the Panthers back on top at the 13:51 mark. The goal from Jokinen came during a Florida power play and had assists on it from Brian Campbell and Reilly Smith.
The quick scoring to open periods would continue in the second period after the teams began it tied. With a helping hand from Alex Petrovic and Jokinen, Smith would put Florida back on top by a goal. The score at the 1:31 mark of the second period was 3-2 with the Panthers on top.
After New York took a two-goal lead, Florida would answer back in less than a minute. Smith's second goal of the game had assists on it from Jokinen and Nick Bjugstad. The score at the 6:56 mark of the third period was 5-4 Islanders.
Florida certainly had its chances to score with 46 total shots on goal. Islanders' goalie Thomas Greiss stopped 42 of them however. Greiss would get better as the game went on to finish off the victory for his team.
Roberto Luongo had a difficult night in the net with New York finding the back of the net five times in 26 chances. The big goal for the Islanders was perhaps the one scored with only 22 seconds left in the second period. At the time, the score tied the game and set up New York for the win in the third period.
Game two will take place on Friday from BB&T Center at 7:30 p.m.