NEWARK, N.J. The NHL's best penalty-kill unit had its worst night of the season Tuesday, and that untimely flop when a man down may have killed its chances at a first-round playoff upset.
The New Jersey Devils had everything going their way early on during their Game 3 matchup with the Florida Panthers at the Prudential Center, taking a commanding 3-0 lead before many fans had found their seats. But the Panthers rebounded with four unanswered goals in an 11-minute span, including three on the power play, in a shocking 4-3 win.
It was the first time the Devils allowed three power-play goals in a game this season, and it was the first time since 1988 that New Jersey lost a playoff game after leading by three or more goals, a span of 56 contests.
"I don't really have an explanation," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said after the game. "I think we've got to learn as a group how to play in that situation and it starts with not taking penalties. We've been burned in two games now taking pen...