The Panthers and Islanders played a classic postseason game Friday night, one which creeped into Saturday.
For Florida, Alan Quine’s power play goal with four minutes left in double overtime will go down as yet another overtime heartbreak in the playoffs.
Quine’s goal lifted the exhausted Islanders to a thrilling 2-1 victory at a packed and energized BB&T Center and handed Florida its sixth consecutive postseason overtime loss dating to 1996.
Quine now joins Colorado’s Uwe Krupp and New Jersey’s Adam Henrique as Florida killers in extra time.
The game was the second longest in franchise history, besting a double-overtime win over the Flyers (Mike Hough) in the 1996 semifinals and loss to the Devils (Henrique) in the opening round of 2012.
Florida lost to Colorado in Game 4 of the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals in a three-overtime affair which lasted 104 minutes 31 seconds. Friday’s game went 96 minutes on the dot.
“It was a good battle but frustrating how it ends obviously,’’ Brian Campbell said. “We’re going to continue to have chances but it’s a tough break trying to kill off a couple of penalties in overtime. Not fun.’’
The Panthers were forced to kill a penalty when Derek MacKenzie was called for slashing with 5:29 left in the second session.
After Vincent Trocheck failed to draw a penalty on his shorthanded drive to the net, the Islanders ended it with their second overtime win in the series moments later.
“We controlled the attack throughout but this is playoff hockey and that seems to be the way it goes,” Trocheck said. “You give them a chance ... it’s going to end up in the back of the net.
The win gives the Islanders a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series which resumes Sunday at 7 p.m. at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Florida and New York split the two games this week in Brooklyn with the Islanders taking Game 3 in overtime and Florida winning 2-1 on Wednesday night.
With a victory on Sunday, the Islanders would not only end Florida’s season, but get the chance to play the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
“The goalie made a great save, all credit to him, but I should have scored,’’ said Sasha Barkov, who could have ended it with 12:41 left in the first overtime but was stopped by Thomas Greiss (47 saves) on a penalty shot.
“Both goalies are playing pretty good right now. It’s pretty tough to score, especially in the playoffs. We have to believe in ourselves, put more pucks to the net and go there and be hungrier to the net.”
A scary moment happened early in the second overtime as Nick Bjugstad lost his balance after contact from Shane Prince and appeared to smash his head up against the top of the boards.
Bjugstad was motionless on the ice for a few minutes as team trainers and a pair of doctors were brought onto the ice to attend to him. Bjugstad was eventually helped off and into the locker room.
“He got some stitches in his head, I know that,’’ coach Gerard Gallant said. “All I know is he got stitches and didn’t come back. I don’t think it’s that serious, but we’ll know more [Saturday].’’
The Panthers had a prime scoring chance knocked away by the stick of Greiss as Reilly Smith charged in 4:29 into the second overtime.
A few minutes later, Florida was shorthanded after Jaromir Jagr tripped up John Tavares, but the Panthers survived that power play.
The Panthers had one chance after another in the first overtime yet none bigger than a rare penalty shot — first such playoff call in overtime since 1998 — after New York’s Calvin de Haan was busted catching the puck in the crease and decided to toss it back into play.
Barkov, one of Florida’s top playmakers in shootouts, charged in and was stopped by a diving Greiss as he made the glove save.
In the first half of the overtime, Florida had prime scoring chances from Trocheck (twice), Teddy Purcell, Alex Petrovic, Aaron Ekblad and Jagr yet couldn’t solve Greiss time and again.
“I’m real proud of our guys, the way we’re competing,’’ Gallant said. “Hopefully, sooner or later, we’ll get some breaks. Greiss has been outstanding. He’s played solid, made big saves. The series has been unbelievably close.’’
The Islanders challenged Roberto Luongo (40 saves) more than a few times in the extra frame and had a great chance midway through when they piled up in front yet couldn’t put the puck through.
Florida kept coming after the 10 minute mark as both teams showed signs of fatigue.
Purcell was on a 2-on-1 rush yet passed up the shot and had his pass broken up by Nick Leddy with 6:55 left.
Greiss, as he has been throughout the series, was the only thing keeping the Panthers from running away with a win — and instead, now facing elimination.
“It’s tough but we still have a chance,” Barkov said. “We just need to win two more games, that’s it. Right now we don’t feel too good, but we’ll feel great if we win the next two.”
Barkov finally got Florida on the board just two minutes into the third period as he jammed home a slick pass from Alex Petrovic that slipped through the skates of Jagr just as he crashed the net.
As has also been the case for much of the series, the Islanders challenged the goal as it appeared Trocheck — back in the lineup after being out since March 29 with a busted foot — was offside as Campbell carried the puck into the New York zone.
This time the Panthers didn’t have one of their goals called back after another lengthy review.
After a back-and-forth third period, the two went into the second overtime in the past three games.
The Panthers now try and regroup and bounce back.
No team in the series has won consecutive games and both are trying to end long postseason droughts.
Florida hasn’t won a playoff series since 1996; the Islanders since 1993.
“It’s a tough loss, we played another great game and the mood is a little bit down,” Gallant said. “By the time they get home, get something to eat, they’ll be ready to get back to New York and play another great game. I think we’re playing great hockey. [Greiss] is playing real well.”