Having a short memory might be important for the Panthers ahead of an elimination game on Wednesday versus the Islanders.

Of course, maybe selective memory might suit the Cats better. In two games, they’ve seen the Islanders parade to a combined nine 10 power plays. Though they trailed for every minute of play in the series first installment, Florida enjoyed a second period lead on Tuesday. But after Aleksander Barkov gave them a 2-1 lead, the Panthers became unglued with their discipline, taking six penalties including two that saw the Islanders score succumbing the deficit and winning 4-2.

Florida’s playoff life is on the line now and they’ll have to face it in quick order.

“We didn’t get the result we wanted tonight,” Florida defenseman, Keith Yandle said. “We got to be pissed off and ready to come tomorrow and play our best game. Probably best case for us to be playing back-to-back for us not to be sitting on this one too long. Just getting back to the hotel, get a meal, get to bed and come back and do it again tomorrow.”

Suppressing an offense that has Mat Barzal and might have an recently-ignited Eberle won’t be easy, but staying out of the box is a nice start, they know that.

“They cost us in this game,” Barkov said. “We can’t take so many penalties again today. Just have to be better with our sticks. Too many tripping and high sticks in my opinion. It gives the momentum to them–they get to put their best players on the ice, but we just got to play a lot better, too. We have a new chance tomorrow.”

Joel Quenneville looking to advance to the official postseason for the first time since his days in Chicago knows his team has to have more composure or an early exit is imminent.

“You have to learn from some of the situations we put ourselves in,” the Panthers head coach said. “There’s some positives, I thought the first game there were some positives to extract out of the game today and do what we wanted to do to begin the game. We have to find a way to play with some composure. Composure is key.”

So how might a team on the ropes look?

“We should all feel disappointed and accepting it is not what we’re all about,” Quenneville said. “We want to make sure we’re ready to do something about it tomorrow, but let’s make sure we’re ready to play from start to finish the way we started that first period.”

 

About The Author

Mad about being born into a Mets household during the Yankees dynasty, Neal McHale turned to something different after the 2000 World Series. He got NHL 2001 as a gift and it helped pioneer a hockey love affair. His first sportswriting gig was covering the historically-gritty Big East Conference. Since 2015, he's been with Inside Hockey covering the NHL.

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