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Luongo (41 saves) stout as Panthers tie series against Isles

SUNRISE — Roberto Luongo bounced back. So did Florida.

Luongo made 41 saves for his first playoff win in five years, and the Panthers evened their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series Friday by beating the Islanders 3-1.

Reilly Smith and Nick Bjugstad each had a goal and an assist for Florida, which salvaged a split in the back-to-back that opened the series at a game apiece.

"It was important, obviously, to get one at home," Luongo said. "Complete team effort tonight. Typical playoff game, low-scoring, grinding down and we found a way to win."

John Tavares had a goal for his sixth consecutive game dating to the regular season, denying Luongo the shutout with 3:33 left.

It was Luongo's first playoff win since Game 5 of the 2011 Stanley Cup final with Vancouver. He had lost his previous seven postseason starts. And after 456 appearances for Florida, Luongo finally has a postseason win for the team.

Blackhawks 3, Blues 2: Andrew Shaw stuffed home a rebound on a power play with 4:19 left, minutes after the visiting Blackhawks won a coach's challenge to negate a goal, and the defending Stanley Cup champions pulled even with St. Louis in their first-round series. Duncan Keith, last year's Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP, also scored for Chicago in his first game back from a six-game suspension. Keith assisted on Artemi Panarin's clinching empty-net goal with 1:34 to go.

Demers improving: Former NHL coach Jacques Demers is getting better every day and has begun eating after a recent stroke, his doctors said. Demers, 71, now a Canadian senator, still has some weakness on the right side and difficulty with speech, but is alert, said Dr. Angela Genge of the Montreal Neurological Institute. Demers, who coached the Lightning from 1997-99 and led the Canadiens to their 1993 Stanley Cup victory, was rushed to hospital April 6.

Rangers: Goalie Henrik Lundqvist (eye) practiced but his status for today's game at Pittsburgh remained uncertain.

Flyers: Center Sean Couturier (upper body) will miss the rest of the first-round series against the Capitals.

at Panthers 1 1 1 3
Islanders 0 0 1 1

First1, Florida, Smith 3 (Bjugstad, Huberdeau), 4:32. PenaltiesGrimaldi, Fla (tripping), 6:19; Wilson, Fla (tripping), 14:21.

Second2, Florida, Bjugstad 1 (Smith, Kulikov), 6:17. PenaltiesClutterbuck, NYI (roughing), 18:33; Martin, NYI (roughing), 18:33; Cizikas, NYI, served by Strome, double minor (roughing), 18:33; MacKenzie, Fla (roughing), 18:33; Thornton, Fla (roughing), 18:33; Wilson, Fla (roughing), 18:33.

Third3, N.Y. Islanders, Tavares 2 (Leddy, Okposo), 16:27. 4, Florida, Kulikov 1 (Barkov), 19:50 (en). PenaltiesPetrovic, Fla (holding), 4:13. ShotsN.Y. Islanders 11-16-15—42. Florida 13-10-8—31. Power playsN.Y. Islanders 0 of 3; Florida 0 of 1. GoaliesN.Y. Islanders, Greiss 1-1-0 (30 shots-28 saves). Florida, Luongo 1-1-0 (42-41).

Blackhawks 0 1 2 3
at Blues 0 1 1 2

FirstNone. PenaltiesBerglund, StL (high-sticking), 6:25; Panarin, Chi (high-sticking), 9:19.

Second1, St. Louis, Tarasenko 1 (Schwartz, Lehtera), 15:20. 2, Chicago, Keith 1 (Kane, Toews), 19:55. PenaltiesEdmundson, StL (interference), 4:58; Panik, Chi (roughing), 20:00; Edmundson, StL (roughing), 20:00.

Third3, Chicago, Shaw 1 (Seabrook, Kane), 15:41 (pp). 4, Chicago, Panarin 1 (Keith), 18:34 (en). 5, St. Louis, Shattenkirk 1 (Backes), 19:58. PenaltiesLadd, Chi (cross-checking), 9:14; Fabbri, StL (embellishment), 9:14; Tarasenko, StL (slashing), 13:48. ShotsChicago 2-17-10—29. St. Louis 7-15-9—31. Power playsChicago 1 of 3; St. Louis 0 of 1. GoaliesChicago, Crawford 1-1-0 (31 shots-29 saves). St. Louis, Elliott 1-1-0 (28-26).

Luongo (41 saves) stout as Panthers tie series against Isles 04/15/16 [Last modified: Friday, April 15, 2016 11:46pm]
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