Sam Reinhart scores OT winner, Panthers tie series

SUNRISE — Sam Reinhart scored the overtime winner on Tuesday night as the Florida Panthers evened up the series at 2-2 against the New York Rangers.

 

Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin had 37 saves in the loss. Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky picked up 21 saves in the win.

 

After both teams split their respective home games 1-1, the series will shift back to New York, tied 2-2.



Vincent Trocheck opened the scoring 8:51 into the game , giving  the Rangers a 1-0 lead off their first power play goal of the series.

 

New York was 0/8 on the power play in the series prior to Trocheck scoring his eighth goal of the playoffs. 

 

Late in the period, the Rangers nearly doubled their lead on another power play, but a post was Panthers  goalie Sergei Bobrovsky’s best friend. 

 

Trailing 1-0 nearly mid-way into the second, Sam Bennett finally got on the board with his fourth goal of the postseason. Bennett’s goal came three seconds after the Rangers killed off their second penalty of the game. 

 

Less than four minutes after the Bennett goal, Florida took their first lead of the game when Carter Verhaeghe batted a puck out of mid-air, past Igor Shesterkin, to put his team up 2-1. 

 

Florida took their lead into the intermission.

 

Out of the break, New York didn’t waste any time to level the game. Alexis Lafreniere tied it up with his seventh goal of the postseason, just 3:28 into the third.

 

Lafrienere’s early goal in the third would be the only one of the period. For a third consecutive game, this series went to overtime.

 

The Rangers were victorious in the last two overtime games between the two sides — winning Game 2, 2-1 in New York and Game 3, 5-4 in Sunrise.

 

Florida got their lucky break just 59 seconds into overtime, when Blake Wheeler tripped Aleksander Barkov on a breakaway — putting the Panthers on the power play.

 

The Panthers had a golden opportunity to even up the series on the man-advantage and they wasted no time to do that.

 

Just 13 seconds into the power play, Sam Reinhart buried his eighth goal of the postseason from his patented spot in the bumper to win the game and tie the series at 2-2.

 

“If he’s open, obviously you want to look for him,” Barkov said of Reinhart’s game winner. “He’s scored a lot of goals from there.

 

Game 5 will be on Thursday, May 30 at 8 p.m. ET at Madison Square Garden in New York.

What does the McDonagh move mean for the Predators’ future plans?

The recent return of Ryan McDonagh to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a trade with the Nashville Predators has caused quite a stir in the Predators’ fanbase. 

McDonagh’s departure frees up a significant chunk of cap space ($6.75 million) for the Predators. This newfound financial freedom opens up a world of possibilities for the Predators this offseason.

With the cash, they could bolster their defense, which took a hit with McDonagh’s departure. Or, they could add depth scoring to complement their already potent offense. However, the juicier possibility lies in a potential blockbuster trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The rumor centers on two key players: Nashville’s star goaltender Juuse Saros and Toronto’s high-scoring forward Mitch Marner. Saros has emerged as a top goalie in the league, but the Predators may be looking to shake things up after another playoff disappointment. 

The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, have long coveted a proven goaltender to push them over the playoff hump. Marner, a talented offensive player, could be a centerpiece offered in a package deal to land Saros.

However, any potential trade would be complex. 

Marner’s hefty contract (close to $11 million) would require the Predators to take on additional salary, likely involving other Maple Leafs’ players or prospects. Additionally, the fit for Marner in Nashville’s system would need careful consideration.

If a Saros-Marner trade does come through it will potentially be the biggest trade of the summer. It could even rival some of the biggest Maple Leafs’ deals in history, like the Wendel Clark for Mats Sundin trade in 1994, which reshaped the franchise for years to come.

In saying this, the Maple Leafs haven’t escaped the spotlight since their playoff exit. 

After years of scrutiny on William Nylander, the focus has shifted to Mitch Marner.  His hefty salary cap hit combined with his recent struggles in crucial moments have left fans restless. 

Is Marner, once a cornerstone of the team’s future, now seen as expendable? The narrative in Toronto seems to be changing, with Leafs Nation looking to free up cap space by potentially moving him.

Marner used to be one of the favorite candidates in the NHL highest scorers betting market. We are talking about a forward who set the franchise scoring record for the Toronto outfit only a year and a half ago. Regularly, he’d lead player goal scoring markets ahead of each match. 

Those who keep their finger on the pulse of online sports betting in Ontario will know that the Canada international has seen his odds plummet recently.. A change of scenery could see him recapture his prolific form. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltending woes are no secret either. Juuse Saros has been a leading target for many teams who are seeking more stability in front of the goal. For the Leafs, Saros could be the missing piece they desperately need. 

The Finnish goaltender could be instrumental in improving the Leafs’ defensive record. It may well be a change that pushes them toward championship contention.

It’s no secret that the Toronto goal-tending situation has been far from stable lately. The club have tried Frederik Andersen, Jack Campbell, and Ilya Samsonov between the pipes. Saros could be an instant upgrade in the position. 

With Joseph Woll as backup, the Maple Leafs’ goal-tending could be sorted for years.  

How does this trade benefit the Predators? The Nashville franchise has been seeking more offensive firepower, and Marner could provide just that. 

Marner would also fill the void of a genuine star in the lineup. Alongside Ryan O’Reilly and Fillip Forsberg, Marner could wreak havoc in the opposition defense. On paper, it would be one of the most dynamic attacks in the division. 

While a Saros-Marner trade seems feasible, several hurdles need to be cleared first. 

Salary cap constraints are a major factor. The Predators’ upcoming Matt Duchene buyout penalty ($5.5 million rising in subsequent seasons) also adds another layer of complexity. Both teams will need creative solutions to navigate these financial obstacles before this deal can materialize. 

Is Ryan McDonagh’s trade the first domino to fall for the Nashville Predators? Trading away his hefty contract could be a strategic move to free up significant cap space. It would allow them to reallocate this fund to pursue a high-priced player, addressing a pressing need in the roster.

But there’s one problem. Marner is owed a large signing bonus on July 1st, 2024. This could delay any potential deal with the Maple Leafs until after free agency opens.

Rangers win Game 3 in overtime, take 2-1 series lead

SUNRISE — After the Rangers and Panthers split the opening two games in New York, the Eastern Conference Final moved down to South Florida for Game 3. 

 

Alex Wennberg scored the overtime winner, leading the Rangers to a 5-4 victory — their second-consecutive OT win.

 

They lead the series 2-1, with Game 4 back in Sunrise on Tuesday.

 

The Panthers got off to a good start at home on Saturday, breaking open the game first. 

 

After getting a powerplay 75 seconds into the game,Sam Reinhart opened the scoring with his sixth goal of the postseason — giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead 2:50 into the game. 

 

Less than five minutes after Florida broke the ice, Alexis Lafreniere would tie the game after scoring his fifth of the playoffs on a breakaway. 

 

25 seconds after tying things up, Game 2 hero Barclay Goodrow, continued his goal streak, giving the Rangers their first lead of the game. 

 

In what was a game that saw three players score multiple goals, Reinhart would become the first to get his second. With 5:14 left in the period, Reinhart scored his seventh goal of the playoffs after his attempted pass banked off Rangers Jacob Trouba into the net. 

 

A four-goal opening frame saw the teams go to the first intermission tied.

 

After a tightly contested first, the Rangers took control of the game in the second period, scoring another pair of unanswered goals. 

 

Lafreniere put New York up 3-2 after burying his second highlight reel goal of the game with 4:37 left in the period.


Florida was awarded a four-minute power play after Trouba went to the box for a slashing and elbowing penalty. 

 

The Panthers power play, which already scored twice at that point, were caught sleeping on the man-advantage and the Rangers made them pay. 

 

While shorthanded, Goodrow scored his second goal of the game — extending the Rangers lead to 4-2 entering the third. 

 

Florida’s captain Aleksander Barkov kept his team afloat with a huge goal 5:04 into the third. Barkov redirected Carter Verhaeghe’s pass behind Shesterkin for his sixth goal of the playoffs. 

 

Verhaeghe, who started the game on a line with Lundell and Tkachuk, was moved with Barkov and Reinhart in the third after Panthers head coach Paul Maurice put the lines in a blender. 

 

Feeding off the momentum from their captain’s goal, the Panthers tied the game again after Gustav Forsling rifled a wrister top corner — making it 4-4 with 13:02 to play in regulation.


60 minutes wasn’t enough to find a winner on Friday night in New York — that would be the case for Game 3 in Sunrise.

 

Overtime was needed in Sunrise.

 

The Panthers dominated play in the third period and it continued into the overtime period. By the end of the night, they had 108 shot attempts to the Rangers 44.

 

But the in your face numbers advantage didn’t help the Panthers on Wednesday.

 

After playing on their heels to start overtime, the Rangers needed just one chance to escape with a win.

 

5:33 into overtime, Alex Wennberg deflected Ryan Lindgren’s point shot past Bobrovsky — giving the Rangers a 2-1 series lead on the road.

 

“Any time you lose a close one like that it’s obviously frustrating,” Sam Reinhart said. “You say we dominate but then you look at the mistakes that lead to their goals. There’s areas of improvement for sure.”

 

The Panthers will try to get this series back to even on Tuesday night at home, otherwise,  they will head to New York facing elimination at MSG.

How the Vancouver Canucks’ playoff heroics was a big win for the city

Emotions are running high in Vancouver. While fans grapple with the bittersweet end to the Canucks’ playoff run, the Western Canadian city still has reasons for celebration. Local businesses enjoyed a significant economic boost, and the police are reflecting on a successful operation in managing large crowds.

The Edmonton Oilers held off a desperate comeback bid by the Vancouver Canucks in a thrilling Game 7, squeaking by with a 3-2 victory to advance in the playoffs.

The Canucks’ defeat can be attributed to several factors. 

A sluggish first half put them on the back foot early. Add in their inability to capitalize on late-game power plays, and this was always going to be an uphill battle. The absence of Brock Boeser, their leading scorer, loomed large as well. His offensive contribution was missed, not to mention the emotional impact of losing such a key member of the team.

The Canucks’ defensive prowess and consistent goal-tending were undeniable strengths throughout the playoffs. However, their lack of offensive punch ultimately led to their downfall against the Oilers. There was heart in their performance, but it wasn’t enough to compensate for the deficiencies above. 

While the Canucks’ season comes to a heartbreaking close, they can hold their heads high after clinching the Pacific Division top spot and hosting their first playoff games since 2015.

Just months ago, the Canucks were in dire need of a turnaround. At one stage, team president Jim Rutherford called for “major surgery.” However, coach Rick Tocchet’s leadership and cultural overhaul revitalized the team. 

They defied expectations, pushing all the way to one win shy of the Western Conference Finals. Off the back of this, the Vancouver Canucks emerged as the ultimate NHL 2024 dream team for sports bettors searching for high odds to bet on.

The team’s unexpected run resulted in handsome rewards for their backers. Almost every one of the available betting sites in Canada offered long odds for the ‘Nucks at the start of the season. As a result, those who bet in favor of the Canucks early received lucrative returns when they made a deep run. 

Thankfully, the concerns about unruly behavior from Vancouver fans during the playoffs didn’t materialize. While there were reports of a few dozen liquor-related infractions on game days, these were seemingly minor incidents.

This stood in stark contrast to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final loss, which was marred by riots and vandalism. Fans displayed a much more controlled form of excitement this time around.

Vancouver’s incredible playoff run makes for an interesting economics case study as well. 

Their success showed how a winning sports team can boost a city’s economic success. Bars, restaurants, and hotels saw a surge in business as fans, both local and from out of town, flocked to watch the games on big screens. 

The energy grew with each victory, with establishments experiencing a rise in customers as the team progressed through their thrilling 13-game postseason journey. This influx of fans translated into increased revenue for businesses.

Ian Tostenson, president of the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservice Association, revealed that game nights added an estimated $2 million to the bottom line of restaurants across the province. Interestingly, weekdays saw the greatest increase, suggesting fans were more likely to dine out during non-work hours to experience the playoff atmosphere.

Is it possible to come up with a specific dollar figure to pinpoint the extent of positive impact the Canucks’ playoff run has had on the economy? According to Micael Narine, a Brock University academic, that is quite a complex challenge. 

While calculating the exact impact is tricky, the sports management associate professor estimates the Canucks’ run to the second-round Game 7 generated economic activity in the “mid-to-low single-digit millions.” This boom was likely fueled by fans traveling between Vancouver and Edmonton to support their teams, creating a spending ripple effect across both cities.

According to the expert, businesses closest to Rogers Arena, like hotels, bars, and restaurants, saw the most significant impact from the playoff run. However, the positive effects extended beyond that, with a noticeable increase in sales of food, accommodation, and merchandise across a wider area.

Unsurprisingly, the Vancouver Canucks themselves enjoyed great financial returns for their unexpected playoff campaign. They got to play more than a dozen extra games, which brought in significant revenue. On top of that, the playoffs salary structure resulted in lower payouts for players compared to the regular season.

The Canucks’ elimination from the playoffs will undoubtedly cool things down in Vancouver. However, the city’s celebratory mood may not completely vanish. Despite the heated rivalry with Edmonton, the marketability of superstar Connor McDavid and the Oilers’ position as the last remaining Canadian team could still entice fans to spend money.

Why Panthers Are Poised to Learn from Last Year’s Stanley Cup Loss

Just the New York Rangers and either the Oilers or the Stars are all that separate the Florida Panthers from their first-ever Stanley Cup title. The Panthers were in a similar situation last year, sweeping the Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Finals, only to lose the Stanley Cup Finals in five games to the upstart Golden Knights. While disappointing, that loss could be considered a learning experience for the Panthers, giving them hope that this year will be different. Let’s look at some of the reasons why the Panthers will succeed in 2024 where they faltered in 2023.

Team Effort

Florida’s postseason success last year was largely a result of Matthew Tkachuk carrying the Panthers in crunch time and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky going above and beyond what was expected of him. Granted, there’s nothing wrong with relying on your biggest star and your goalie to carry the load. It allowed the Panthers to reach the Stanley Cup Finals as the no. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. However, relying on two key players isn’t always sustainable, which the Panthers found out in the Stanley Cup Finals.

 

Luckily, that hasn’t been the case for Florida this year. The Panthers have played more of a team game during the first two rounds of the playoffs. Rather than eking out tight games thanks to Tkachuk coming through in the clutch, half of Florida’s postseason wins in the first two rounds came by multiple goals. The entire roster is contributing to the team’s success, which is why the Panthers finished the regular season as the top seed, meaning this year’s postseason run has been expected rather than being a fluke.

Balance

Along those lines, the Panthers have had great balance, no longer relying on Tkachuk too much or asking him to carry them on his shoulders. A year ago, he led the Panthers in goals and assists during the postseason. But through the first two rounds of the playoffs this year, Aleksander Barkov, Sam Reinhart, and Carter Verhaeghe all scored more goals than Tkachuk. 

 

To be fair, Tkachuk holds the team lead in points, as his assists have been a catalyst for Florida’s attack. But the Panthers are far from a one-man show, as 11 players already have multiple goals in 11 playoff games whereas 13 players had multiple goals in 21 postseason games last year. Not having to rely so much on Tkachuk to jumpstart the offense figures to be a key differentiator this season now that the Panthers are deep in the playoffs.

Full Strength at the Right Time

Naturally, being healthy at the right time of year is critical to playoff success. The Panthers were undoubtedly hindered by injuries during last year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. But there is little question that the Panthers are as close to full health right now as they can get. Most notably, defensemen Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour missed significant chunks of time during the regular season, playing 51 and 66 games, respectively. 

 

However, both have been healthy during the playoffs, each ranking among the top three Panthers in ice time through the first two rounds of the playoffs. That will help to ensure that the Panthers are at their best on the defensive end of the ice, providing adequate support for Bobrovsky to shine without having to carry the team on his back the way he did during large stretches of last year’s playoffs.

Been There, Done That

In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, never discount the importance of experience. Just reaching the Stanley Cup Finals last year was a big step for a franchise that hadn’t been there since 1996. The Panthers brought back 15 players from last season, giving them a core of experienced players, which wasn’t the case a year ago. Florida doubled down by bringing in veterans like Vladimir Tarasenko and Nikko Mikkola who each won the Stanley Cup earlier in their career.

 

With that experience, the Panthers have one less obstacle than they had a year ago. They aren’t going to fold in pressure-filled moments or be intimidated by the big stage. That alone could be enough to put them over the top in 2024. There have been eight instances in NHL history of a team losing the Stanley Cup Finals only to lift the cup the next year, but not since the Penguins did it in 2009. Perhaps the Panthers can be the next.

 

With plenty of games left in the NHL playoffs this year, there is a great selection of NHL betting sites for fans to use. Most of them offer competitive odds, lucrative welcome offers, and user-friendly platforms for both experienced and novice bettors to enjoy.

Rangers win Game 2 in overtime, series tied at 1-1

Barclay Goodrow scored the overtime winner as the New York Rangers defeated the Florida Panthers 2-1, tying up the series at 1-1. 


After losing Game 1 at home on Wednesday night, the Rangers knew they had to be better from the jump and they stuck to that plan. 

 

Vincent Trocheck got the Rangers on the board for the first time in the series just 4:12 into the game, when he beat Sergei Borbrovsky for his seventh goal of the playoffs. 

 

Trocheck leads the Rangers with 15 postseason points.

 

After going down, Florida picked up their pace and would begin to tilt the ice in their favor as the first intermission approached. 

 

With 1:51 left to go in the opening period, the Panthers would get on the board. 

 

Carter Verhaeghe beat Igor Shesterkin for career playoff goal number 23 — tying the game at 1-1. 

 

While both teams lit the lamp in the opening 20, the two goaltenders would slam the door shut for the next two periods and overtime would ensue. 

 

“I thought our guys did a great job again. They defend, they work hard,” said Sergei Bobrovsky, who finished with 28 saves in the loss. “It’s a tight game, it’s a one goal game. So we keep going.”

 

In the extra period, the Rangers had a good push in the opening minute, generating a few quality chances before the two sides tightened up. 

 

Towards the end of overtime, Rangers captain Jacob Trouba long flipped the puck out of the zone to Barclay Goodrow. 

 

Goodrow and Trocheck fed a give-and-go on the zone entry before Goodrow buried his fourth goal of the playoffs for the overtime winner. 

 

This was a huge win for the Rangers, who were at risk of going down 0-2, with the next two games on the road.

 

“After Game 5 (against Boston) I was some kind of sour with the way we played… I’m fine with tonight,” Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said. “You shouldn’t come in and beat the Presidents’ Trophy team twice in their own building, you really shouldn’t. We got that one to overtime.”

 

The series transitions over to Sunrise for games 3 and 4 — with Game 3 on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET at Amerant Bank Arena. 

Panthers’ Aleksander Barkov wins second Selke Trophy

Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov is the 2024 Frank J. Selke Trophy winner. 

 

The Selke is awarded annually “to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game” and is selected by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.   

 

This is the second time Barkov has won the Selke, with his first coming back in 2021.

 

The 28-year-old had 80 points (23 goals, 57 assists) in 73 games this season with the Panthers — finishing the year a +33. He played a pivotal role at both ends of the ice during the regular season for the Panthers — centering the top line for the team with the best goal differential, goals against average and fewest goals conceded (tied with Winnipeg) in 2023-23.

 

First awarded in 1978, Barkov became just the 10th player in NHL history to win the Selke more than once. He is the only Panther in franchise history to win the award.

 

Barkov beat out Jordan Staal (Carolina) and Auston Matthews (Toronto), who were the other two finalists for Selke.

 

Barkov won by a landslide, accumulating 1,817 points and being first choice on 165 of the 194 ballots — placing top-five on 192 of those.

 

His teammate, Sam Reinhart, finished tied for fourth with 440 points and had 12 first-place votes, which was second most behind Barkov.

 

Staal was second with 539 points and Matthews finished third with 514.

 

The NHL Awards ceremony will be on June 27 from the Fontainebleau in Las Vegas. 

Panthers advance to Eastern Conference Final, knock out Bruins in Game 6

The Florida Panthers advanced to the Eastern Conference Final after knocking out the Boston Bruins in six games on Friday night. 

 

Gustav Forsling scored the game winning goal with just 1:33 remaining in the third period, leading the Panthers to 2-1 victory.

 

Florida has ended the Bruins season in two-straight postseasons — winning six straight playoff games at TD Garden en route to that.   

 

The Bruins struck first on Friday, grabbing a 1-0 lead after Pavel Zacha scored off a breakaway with just 52 seconds remaining in the first. 

 

Replay showed that Panthers forward Carter Verhaeghe was interfered with by Bruins defender Brandon Carlo in the lead up to the goal, but there was no call made on the ice. 

 

In the second period, Florida’s youngest player Anton Lundell got his team back in the game with his second goal of the postseason, coming with 7:16 left in the frame. 

 

Lundell, 22, already had 41 playoff games under his belt. 

 

The game remained tight until the final minutes of the game and that’s when Florida took the series.

 

Gustav Forsling scored the game winning goal with 1:33 left in regulation, his second goal of the series.  

 

The Panthers will return to the Eastern Conference Final (ECF) for a second-straight year and will look to defend their title against the  President’s Trophy winning New York Rangers. 

 

Game 1 of the ECF will be on Wednesday, May 22 at 8 p.m. ET at Madison Square Garden in New York. 

2024 NHL Eastern Conference Final schedule released

The NHL released the full schedule for the 2024 Eastern Conference Final on Friday afternoon. 

 

After defeating the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday, the New York Rangers booked their ticket to the Eastern Conference Final (ECF) and now await the winner of the Florida Panthers-Boston Bruins series — Florida currently leads 3-2.

 

Game 1 of the ECF will be on Wednesday, May 22 at 8 p.m. ET at Madison Square Garden in New York, with the Rangers hosting either the Panthers or Bruins. 

 

Game 6 of the second round series between the Panthers and Bruins is Friday, May 17 at the TD Garden. 

 

Full Eastern Conference Final schedule:

GAME 1: Wednesday, May 22, 8 p.m. ET- Panthers/Bruins @ Rangers (ESPN, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS)

 

GAME 2:  Friday, May 24, 8 p.m. ET – Panthers/Bruins @ Rangers (ESPN, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS)

 

GAME 3:  Sunday, May 26, 3 p.m. ET – Rangers @ Panthers/Bruins (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS)

 

GAME 4: Tuesday, May 28, 8 p.m. ET –  Rangers @ Panthers/Bruins (ESPN, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS)

 

GAME 5*: Thursday, May 30, 8 p.m. ET – Panthers/Bruins @ Rangers (ESPN, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS)

 

GAME 6*: Saturday, June 1, 8 p.m. ET – Rangers @ Panthers/Bruins (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS)

 

GAME 7*: Monday, June 3, 8 p.m. ET –  Panthers/Bruins @ Rangers (ESPN, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS)

Game 6: Lomberg, Cousins in for Panthers, Marchand game-time decision for Bruins

The Panthers and Bruins will battle it out tonight in Game 6 at Boston’s TD Garden.

 

Holding a 3-2 lead entering Friday night’s matchup, the Panthers are making a few changes up front. 

 

Forwards Ryan Lomberg and Nick Cousins will draw into the lineup, while Kyle Okposo and Steven Lorentz come out, per Jameson Olive of Florida Panthers.com

 

Cousins played the Panthers’ first seven games of the postseason, before being healthy scratched in Game 3 of this series because of Sam Bennett’s return to the lineup. 

 

Lomberg played in Game 1 of the first round against the Lightning, but would miss games 2-4 with an illness. When Lomberg recovered, he wouldn’t return to the lineup because of the great performances from those on the Panthers’ fourth line. 

 

Looking for a spark, Panthers head coach Paul Maurice decides to remove Okposo and Lorentz from the lineup — both of whom have exceeded expectations in the postseason. 

 

“I’m looking at the two guys who are sitting out thinking they could really bring some legs tonight,” Maurice spoke about bringing in Lomberg and Cousins. “That’s why.”

 

Lorentz has two goals, and three points in nine playoff games, Okposo had two assists in eight games.

 

Lomberg and Cousins are expected to reunite on the fourth line, with Kevin Stenlund as the center. 

 

Projected Panthers lines 

Tarasenko – Barkov – Reinhart

Verhaeghe – Bennett – Tkachuk

Luostarinen – Lundell – Rodrigues

Lomberg – Stenlund – Cousins

 

Forsling-Ekblad

Mikkola-Montour

Ekman-Larsson-Kulikov 

 

Bobrovsky (Confirmed Starter)

Stolarz 

 

Boston will need a repeat of their Game 5 performance on Friday night if they want to get on a plane to Fort Lauderdale for a Game 7. 

 

Bruins captain Brad Marchand was listed as a game-time decision, per head coach Jim Montgomery. Marchand missed the last two games with an upper-body injury.

 

Trailing 3-2 in the series, the Bruins know all too well it’s not over until the handshake line.

 

They are in the same position that the Panthers were in last year against them — hosting Game 6, trailing 3-2 in the series. The Panthers won the series after overcoming a 3-1 deficit. 

 

“It’s another loud building and they’re going to bring it again,” Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour said. “Their lives are on the line and [it’s] another chance for us to find a way to close it out. It’s going to be a tough game.”

 

The Bruins played seven games in their first round against the Maple Leafs after Toronto clawed back down 3-1 to force a Game 7. 

 

Jeremy Swayman (6-5-0) is the projected starter for Boston. Sergei Bobrovsky (7-3-0) has been confirmed for the Panthers.