(The Sports Xchange) - Alex Petrovic scored the tiebreaking goal in the middle of the third period and the Florida Panthers went on to beat the New York Islanders 2-1 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarter-finals on Wednesday.
The Panthers evened the best-of-seven series at two games apiece. Game 5 is scheduled for Friday in Sunrise.
Petrovic juggled the puck between the Stanley Cup playoffs logo and the faceoff circles before firing a shot that sailed to the right of screened Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss with 10:35 remaining.
Teddy Purcell also scored for the Panthers, who regained home-ice advantage in the series. Florida goalie Roberto Luongo recorded 26 saves.
John Tavares scored for the Islanders, who missed a chance to take their first 3-1 series lead since the 1993 Wales Conference quarter-finals. Greiss made 27 saves.
A scoreless first period was followed by an eventful second period in which both teams had goals disallowed within a two-minute span.
First, Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau — who was offside to negate a goal that would have given Florida a 3-0 lead on Sunday — bore down on Greiss during a breakaway.
Huberdeau’s shot was initially stopped by Greiss, but Huberdeau’s momentum carried him into the goalie and dislodged the puck, which trickled into the net with 9:15 remaining.
Following a review, referees ruled that the goal did not count. Panthers coach Gerard Gallant used his challenge, but the play stood up on review.
Just 90 seconds later, Josh Bailey appeared to put the Islanders ahead when he followed up the rebound of his own shot by jamming the puck between Luongo’s legs. But the officials ruled the shot came after the whistle.
The Panthers finally broke the scoreless tie on a power-play goal by Purcell with 4:42 left. Jaromir Jagr, stationed to the right of the net, made three unsuccessful attempts at jamming the puck home.
The puck skittered behind Jagr and he corralled it ahead of diving Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic. Jagr then skated behind the net and passed to Purcell, whose shot sailed under Greiss’ glove.
The Islanders tied it on Tavares’ five-on-three goal with 15.3 seconds left.
Tavares corralled the puck, deked Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson and fired a shot past a fallen Gudbranson and over the right shoulder of Luongo.