For the second time in the club’s 30-year history, Florida hockey players made it to the grand finals of the NHL League. The Panthers defeated Carolina (4:3) for the fourth time in the East finals and eliminated their rivals with a broom (4:0). Matthew Tkachuk was the hero again.
The 25-year-old forward, who decided the first two games in overtime, scored this time with a man advantage with more than 4.9 seconds left. Tkachuk was also the scorer of the Panthers’ second goal in the 11th minute.
Anthony Duclair and Ryan Lomberg also scored for the hosts, while Paul Stastny, Teuvo Teravainen and Jesper Fast scored for the visitors. The latter leveled the score at 3:3 in the 57th minute.
Tkachuk is counting on the best weeks of his life“We hope it will be the best few weeks of our lives. We talked about it in the locker room and we’re really looking forward to it,” Tkachuk enthused after the match.
“We are lucky to have Chucky on our team. He was excellent throughout the playoffs,” said Florida’s great goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.
“Who else, right? What he has done this season is inexplicable,” added his teammate Aaron Ekblad.
Brind’Amour: We were there in every match“Did we deserve more? I think we are. That’s the unfortunate part. Everyone will look back and say they swept us. But it’s not like that. We were there in every match. Four games could very well have gone the other way,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said after the shutout.
Florida made it to the grand final again after 1996, when it was eliminated 4-0 by Colorado.
In the grand final, she will face the winner of the Vegas-Dallas matchup, in which Vegas leads 3-0.
East, final, fourth game: FLORIDA – Carolina 4:04:3 (2:1, 1:1, 1:1) Duclair 1st, Tkachuk 11th, 60th, Lomberg 30th; Stastny 14th, Teravainen 23rd, Fast 57th.
Defenses: Bobrovski 36; Andersen 21.
West Semifinals, Game 4, Friday at 2:00 p.m.: DALLAS – VEGAS 0:3
They play for four wins according to the 2-2-1-1-1 system.