By Rob Simpson
Special to NYI Hockey Now
Editors Note: Rob Simpson will be providing coverage from inside the Toronto bubble throughout the playoffs for NYI Hockey Now and the Hockey Now network of sites.
TORONTO — This is a classic example of the Islanders limiting a star player’s chances.
The Panthers didn’t do themselves any favors by spending so much time in the penalty box early. It took the Cats away from establishing any five-on-five tempo. This simply played into coach Barry Trotz’s hands.
The following is a shift diary of Florida captain Aleksander Barkov’s night. Interesting to see how it unfolded and how for the most part the Isles were able to wrangle the top line.
As New York held the lead, the FLA desperation level increased as the game went on, as did Barkov’s ice time. Times are approximate.
Aleksander Barkov- Period 1
0:00-0:35: Starts game. Dump in. In on forecheck. Isles successfully clear zone. Sasha back-tracks, circles neutral zone as D gains possession and heads to the bench.
1:29-1:50: Wins offensive zone draw on 4 on 4 in RW circle. Huberdeau centering pass goes awry. Backcheck as NYI get weak shot on goal on solo rush.