LetsGoPens.com Game Database - Box Score/Summary

Panthers vs. Penguins


Jun 01, 1996

NHL PLAYOFFS

FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL --- --- --- ----- FLORIDA 1 0 2 3 PITTSBURGH 0 0 1 1 FINAL

GOAL SCORING:

1ST PRD: FLA - MIKE HOUGH 4 (ROBERT SVEHLA, BRIAN SKRUDLAND) 13:13 2ND PRD: NONE 3RD PRD: PIT - (PP) PETR NEDVED 10 (MARIO LEMIEUX, JAROMIR JAGR) 1:23 FLA - TOM FITZGERALD 3 (GORD MURPHY) 6:18 FLA - JOHAN GARPENLOV 4 (BILL LINDSAY, TOM FITZGERALD) 17:23

POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: FLA - 0 OF 3, PIT - 1 OF 4.

SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL --- --- --- ----- FLA 12 7 9 28 PIT 10 12 18 40

GOALIES: FLA - JOHN VANBIESBROUCK PIT - TOM BARRASSO

OFFICIALS: REF - KOHARSKI LIN - COLLINS, GAUTHIER

ATT: 17,355

----------------------------- Florida 1 0 2--3 Pittsburgh 0 0 1--1 -----------------------------

FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Florida, Hough 4 (R Svehla, Skrudland), 13:13. Penalties: Nedved, Pit (roughing), 10:10; Laus, Fla (hooking), 16:28.

SECOND PERIOD -- Scoring: None. Penalties: R Svehla, Fla (interference), 1:10; Mironov, Pit (slashing), 6:19; T Fitzgerald, Fla (high sticking), 9:44; Nedved, Pit (cross checking), 12:19; Murphy, Fla (holding), 19:38.

THIRD PERIOD -- Scoring: 2, Pittsburgh, Nedved 10 (power play) (Lemieux, Jagr), 1:23. 3, Florida, T Fitzgerald 3 (Murphy), 6:18. 4, Florida, Garpenlov 4 (B Lindsay, Carkner), 17:23. Penalties: Lemieux, Pit (roughing), 12:02; Skrudland, Fla (roughing), 12:02.

Shots on goal: --------------------------------- Florida 12 7 9--28 Pittsburgh 10 12 19--41 ---------------------------------

Power-play Conversions: Fla - 0 of 3, Pit - 1 of 4. Goalies: Florida, Vanbiesbrouck (41 shots, 40 saves; record: 12-6-0). Pittsburgh, T Barrasso (28, 25; record: 4-5-0). A:17,355. Referee: Koharski. Linesmen: Collins, Gauthier.

----------------------------- Florida 1 0 2--3 Pittsburgh 0 0 1--1 -----------------------------

FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Florida, Hough 4 (R Svehla, Skrudland), 13:13. Penalties: Nedved, Pit (roughing), 10:10; Laus, Fla (Obstr hooking), 16:28.

SECOND PERIOD -- Scoring: None. Penalties: R Svehla, Fla (Obstr interference), 1:10; Mironov, Pit (slashing), 6:19; T Fitzgerald, Fla (high sticking), 9:44; Nedved, Pit (cross checking), 12:19; Murphy, Fla (holding), 19:38.

THIRD PERIOD -- Scoring: 2, Pittsburgh, Nedved 10 (power play) (Lemieux, Jagr), 1:23. 3, Florida, T Fitzgerald 3 (Murphy), 6:18. 4, Florida, Garpenlov 4 (B Lindsay, T Fitzgerald), 17:23. Penalties: Lemieux, Pit (roughing), 12:02; Skrudland, Fla (roughing), 12:02.

Shots on goal: --------------------------------- Florida 12 7 9--28 Pittsburgh 10 12 18--40 ---------------------------------

Power-play Conversions: Fla - 0 of 3, Pit - 1 of 4. Goalies: Florida, Vanbiesbrouck (40 shots, 39 saves; record: 12-6-0). Pittsburgh, T Barrasso (28, 25; record: 4-5-0). A:17,355. Referee: Koharski. Linesmen: Collins, Gauthier.

INDIVIDUAL PLAYER STATISTICS

Florida Pittsburgh G A +/- Shots G A +/- Shots B Lindsay 0 1 +2 2 Daigneault 0 0 -1 1 Barnes 0 0 even 0 Dziedzic 0 0 even 1 Carkner 0 0 +2 0 Jagr 0 1 -2 6 Garpenlov 1 0 +2 6 Joseph 0 0 even 1 Hough 1 0 +1 3 Lauer 0 0 even 0 Jovanovski 0 0 even 2 Lemieux 0 1 -2 5 Laus 0 0 even 0 Leroux 0 0 -1 1 Lowry 0 0 even 0 Miller 0 0 -1 2 Mellanby 0 0 +1 3 Mironov 0 0 -2 2 Murphy 0 1 +1 4 Murray 0 0 even 2 Niedermayer 0 0 even 3 Nedved 1 0 even 6 R Svehla 0 1 +2 1 Roche 0 0 -2 4 Sheppard 0 0 even 1 Sandstrom 0 0 -1 1 Skrudland 0 1 +1 1 Smolinski 0 0 -1 1 Straka 0 0 even 1 Stojanov 0 0 even 0 T Fitzgerald 1 1 +2 1 Tamer 0 0 even 3 Warrener 0 0 +1 0 Wilkinson 0 0 -1 0 Woolley 0 0 even 0 Zubov 0 0 -1 4

GAME RECAP

The Florida Panthers advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals in their first-ever playoff appearance, edging the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-1, as Tom Fitzgerald and Johan Garpenlov scored in the third period of the decisive seventh game of the Eastern Conference finals.

The Panthers, who entered the National Hockey League as an expansion franchise in 1993, will take on the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup Finals, which begin Tuesday in Denver.

"It's a special feeling right now," said Florida defenseman Gord Murphy. "We've worked hard for this, for the organization, for three years now. It's a big step and we're real proud of everybody. It's a huge thing for south Florida and will put us on the map in the hockey world."

Fitzgerald broke a 1-1 deadlock with 13:42 remaining when he took one stride over the Pittsburgh blue line and fired a slap shot that appeared to dip past goaltender Tom Barrasso.

"(It was) just a regular play," Fitzgerald said. "Billy Lindsay was in great support for Murf and I was all alone in the middle. Murf shifted it to me, I went blue line to blue line, which is a no-no in our locker room. I just put a shot on net and it just went off (defenseman Neil) Wilkinson's stick. The next thing you know I saw the red light on. I didn't even know it went in, to be honest with you.

"The last time I was in this situation was Game Seven in the Patrick Finals against Pittsburgh (in 1993) and I thought that was the best thing. But this blows that right out of the water," he added.

Garpenlov added an insurance tally with 2:37 left. He broke in 2-on-1 with Bill Lindsay, who slid the puck to Garpenlov for a one-timer that hit Barrasso's blocker or stick and deflected into the net over the goalie's right shoulder.

John Vanbiesbrouck made 39 saves for the Panthers, who rallied from a 3-2 deficit to win the final two games of the series. Florida used a stifling defense and kept Pittsburgh stars Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr without a goal for the sixth time in the series, including the final five games.

"I would never have believed it," Pens coach Ed Johnston said of the droughts by Lemieux and Jagr. "I think in the last three to four games, Jagr had four or five breakaways and you can almost go to the bank that he'll bury one or two of those. I don't think I've seen anybody in a zone like the Beezer has been in these playoffs, not only in our playoffs, but against Boston and Philadelphia. He has been the difference in every series."

Lemieux picked up an assist on the lone Penguins' goal. He left a drop pass in the slot for Petr Nedved, who wristed a shot into the top right corner of the net while Pittsburgh was on the power play at 1:23 of the third period.

"That's the danger of going to a seventh game and facing a hot goaltender. You can be shut down, as we were," Lemieux said. "Vanbiesbrouck played well. I think they wore me down and they wore us down during the series and it showed in the last two games."

The Panthers' road to the Stanley Cup Finals has been the shortest since the St. Louis Blues made it in their expansion season of 1968. An expansion team was guaranteed a spot in the Finals that year as a result of the NHL's revised divisional alignment. The Buffalo Sabres (1974-75) and Edmonton Oilers (1982-83) both made it to the Finals in their fourth season.

"It was nerve-wracking," said rookie coach Doug MacLean. "When you have people that play that hard and compete that hard and do all of the little things on the ice, you have a chance. Obviously, you go to Johnny (Vanbiesbrouck) right away for what he did. He gave us a chance every night."

The teams played a tentative first period. Florida frustrated the Penguins' best scoring chance with 11:30 to go when defenseman Terry Carkner broke up Lemieux's centering pass on a 2-on-1.

The Panthers took advantage of a defensive breakdown to grab a 1-0 lead at 13:13. Penguins defenseman Francois Leroux fell at the red line, springing Robert Svehla and Mike Hough on a 2-on-1. Svehla broke down the right wing and slid the puck in front to Hough, who shoveled a shot past Barrasso for his fourth playoff goal and first in eight games.

"The first goal was huge," MacLean said. "Coming back after they tied it up was even bigger. I think there was never any question that we weren't going to battle and give it everything we had. It was a terrific series and give Pittsburgh credit. They are a great team and it was a great series by two hard-fought teams that battled."

Vanbiesbrouck, who has been Florida's most valuable player in the playoffs, denied Dave Roche twice from point-blank range in the opening minute of the second period and stopped Joe Dziedzic on a 2-on-1 with 15:50 left. Moments later, Barrasso came up big with a stick save after Ray Sheppard was left alone on the right side.

Vanbiesbrouck made two more saves during a goalmouth scramble with just under 14 minutes to go after Kevin Miller cut to the net off the left wing and J.J. Daigneault had a chance on the rebound.

"It's a difficult experience to explain and I'm so happy right now and the emotion is hard to show," Vanbiesbrouck said. "But I know that everyone back in south Florida is showing their emotion."

Pittsburgh was held without a shot for the next 13 minutes. Miller provided the Penguins' only other scoring threat in the period when he split the Florida defense and got off a backhander as he was being taken down by Carkner with 52 seconds left.

Florida clamped down on Pittsburgh after Fitzgerald's goal and the Penguins' best chance to tie came with 8:14 left. Jagr's shot from the right wing caromed off the end boards, but Panthers defenseman Gord Murphy tied up Lemieux, who was unable to get his stick on the rebound at the right goal post.

"Stars or no stars, Florida's getting it done and that's what it takes," observed Pittsburgh center Bryan Smolinski. "For what we had, we could've overachieved. We had a couple of big guns. We didn't have that great a defense. We persevered, we did some things right and just came up a little bit short."

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