Florida Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic isn’t exactly an offensive dynamo. In 66 games this season, the 24-year-old had two goals and 17 points and was primarily used in a third-pairing role for the Cats. But over the past two games of the first-round series against the New York Islanders, you’d think Petrovic was a game-changing puck-moving defenseman.
Petrovic scored his first goal of the post-season — and first playoff goal of his career — in Game 4 when he showed a nice bit of patience to wait out an oncoming check before firing a puck past Islanders netminder Thomas Greiss. Petrovic wasn’t done there, though, and in Game 5 he made yet another brilliant play.
With the Panthers trailing 1-0 in Game 5, Petrovic took a perfect drop pass from Aleksander Barkov, circled out to the right and then threaded an absolutely perfect pass that landed right back on Barkov’s tape. Barkov tapped the puck home to tie the game:
In the post-season Petrovic has found the score sheet four times in five games. His 0.8 points per game right now is more than three times his production from the regular season, and it hasn’t looked as if this is lightning-in-a-bottle type scoring. Maybe it shouldn’t be too surprising considering Petrovic scored 19 goals and 105 points in his final two seasons as a member of the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels.
Both Petrovic’s goal and his assist were legitimately impressive plays, and if this is a sign of things to come for the young blueliner, maybe he might start seeing increased ice time as the post-season wears on.