NHL

Panthers earn key win over Rangers

By Sports Desk December 30, 2023

Sam Reinhart had two goals and Carter Verhaeghe scored the game-winner with 6:23 remaining to lift the Florida Panthers to a 4-3 win over the Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers on Friday.

Aleksander Barkov recorded three assists to tie a franchise all-time record in that category and help the Panthers to a third straight victory. The Florida captain now has 415 career assists, matching former teammate Jonathan Huberdeau for the most in club history.

The Rangers rallied from an early two-goal deficit to draw even at 3-3 when Mika Zibanejad scored short-handed with 7:45 left to play. The deadlock was short-lived, however, as Verhaeghe whipped a wrist shot past New York goaltender Jonathan Quick just 1:22 later to put the Panthers back in front. 

Florida's Evan Rodrigues had the lone goal of the first period, and Reinhart increased the lead to 2-0 with just over seven minutes elapsed in the second before the Rangers got goals from Artemi Panarin and Will Cuylle less than 90 seconds apart.

Reinhart sent the Panthers back ahead before the end of the second, however, by redirecting a shot from Barkov past Quick with Florida on a power play. 

Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 31 saves for Florida, while Quick stopped 28 shots in just New York's second loss in its last seven games.

Stars' Hintz completes hat trick with overtime winner

Roope Hintz finished off a hat trick by scoring with 7.9 seconds left in overtime to give the Dallas Stars a thrilling 5-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Dallas bounced back from blowing a two-goal third-period lead when Hintz knocked home a feed from Jason Robertson with time winding down in overtime. The hat trick was the fifth of the standout centre's career.

Robertson finished with two assists, while Jamie Benn and Joe Pavelski each had a goal and an assist as the Stars improved to 6-1-1 over their last eight games.

Tyler Johnson had two goals for Chicago, including a power-play tally with 2:36 remaining in regulation that tied the game at 4-4.

Johnson also scored the game's first goal, three minutes before teammate Cole Guttman converted a pass from Lukas Reichel midway through the first period for a 2-0 Blackhawks' lead.

Dallas then recorded the next four goals, beginning with Hintz's first of the night that came under a minute after Guttman's tally. Hintz and Pavelski both scored in the second period to put the Stars ahead before Benn extended the lead to 4-2 with just over two minutes elapsed in the third.

Jason Dickinson later brought the Blackhawks back within one by beating Dallas goaltender Scott Wedgewood with 11:02 left in the third.

Petr Mrazek had 30 saves for Chicago, which has now dropped seven of its last nine games (2-6-1). Wedgewood recorded 25 saves for the Stars.

 

Kraken edge Flyers in OT to extend point streak

Justin Schultz's goal with 2:25 left in overtime extended the surging Seattle Kraken's winning streak to four games with Friday's 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Schultz slid a pass from Oliver Bjorkstrand past Flyers goaltender Carter Hart in extra time shortly after Seattle secured an eighth consecutive game with at least one point (6-0-2), which ties a franchise record. 

Joey Daccord allowed a short-handed goal to Philadelphia's Travis Konecny in the first period, but kept the Flyers off the board thereafter in a 27-save effort.

Hart, who also finished with 27 saves, had a shutout going until Vince Dunn scored on a power play 5:45 into the third period to tie the game at 1-1.

Philadelphia has now lost three of its last four games but is now 6-0-3 over a nine-game point streak on the road.

 

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    Connor McDavid had a goal and three assists and the Edmonton Oilers chased playoff MVP candidate Sergei Bobrovsky to extend their season and avoid a sweep with an 8-1 drubbing of the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night.

    Dylan Holloway scored twice with an assist and Adam Henrique, Mattias Janmark, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Darnell Nurse and Ryan McLeod also had goals for the Oilers, who busted out in a big way after they were held to four goals in the first three games of the series.

    McDavid scored his first goal of the series, and his three assists gave him 32 to move past Wayne Gretzky (1988) for the most in a single postseason.

    Stuart Skinner had his best game of the Cup final with 32 saves.

    Bobrovsky was replaced by Anthony Stolarz after Nurse’s goal at 4:59 of the second period made it 5-1. He allowed five goals on 16 shots after yielding four goals on 86 shots in Games 1, 2 and 3.

    The Panthers can clinch the franchise’s first Stanley Cup at home in Game 5 on Tuesday night.

    Edmonton is bidding to become the first team since the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs to erase a 3-0 series deficit at this stage of the playoffs.

    Janmark got the Oilers going with a short-handed goal 3:11 into the game and Henrique’s tally 3 1/2 minutes later upped the advantage.

    Vladimir Tarasenko’s goal put the Panthers on the board, but Holloway restored the two-goal lead with 5:12 left in the opening period.

    McDavid scored 73 seconds into the second period and Nurse’s goal sent Bobrovsky to the bench.

  • NHL: Panthers hold on to move within win of Stanley Cup title NHL: Panthers hold on to move within win of Stanley Cup title

    Sam Reinhart and Aleksander Barkov each had a goal and an assist and the Florida Panthers held on for a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers to take a 3-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final on Thursday night.

    Vladimir Tarasenko and Sam Bennett also scored for the Panthers, who can wrap up the franchise’s first Stanley Cup title in Game 4 in Edmonton on Saturday night.

    Florida carried a 4-1 lead into the third period, but Philip Broberg scored at 6:02 and Ryan McLeod made it a one-goal game with 5:17 remaining.

    The Oilers, however, could not beat Sergei Bobrovsky again and now face the daunting task of trying to win four straight games to bring the Stanley Cup back to Canada for the first time since 1993 – months before the Panthers’ inaugural season.

    Only four teams in league playoff history (1975 New York Islanders, 2010 Philadelphia Flyers and 2014 Los Angeles Kings) have won a series after losing the first three games and only once in the final (1942 Toronto Maple Leafs).

    Bobrovsky finished with 32 saves to win his sixth straight start. He allowed more than two goals for the first time during that span.

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  • Panthers take 2-0 lead in Stanley Cup Final Panthers take 2-0 lead in Stanley Cup Final

    Evan Rodrigues had two of three Florida Panthers goals in the third period as the Eastern Conference champions took a 2-0 lead on the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup Final with Monday's 4-1 win.

    Niko Mikkola also scored and Aaron Ekblad had a game-sealing empty-net goal in the final minutes as the Panthers moved two wins away from the franchise's first Stanley Cup title.

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    Mattias Ekholm recorded the lone goal for the Oilers, who will attempt to reverse momentum on home ice when the series shifts to Edmonton for Thursday's Game 3.

    Despite Florida owning a 22-7 shot advantage through the first two periods, the teams were locked in a 1-1 tie until Rodrigues stole an attempted clearing pass from Edmonton's Evan Bouchard in the Oilers' end and whistled a shot past goaltender Stuart Skinner 3:11 into the third.

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    The Panthers killed off the infraction, however, then ended any hopes of an Edmonton comeback when Ekblad scored into the vacant net with 2:28 left to play.

    Florida had the game's first prime scoring opportunity when Oilers forward Warren Foegele received a five-minute major penalty and an ejection for a knee-to-knee hit on the Panthers' Eetu Luostarinen midway through the first period.

    The Panthers couldn't capitalise, however, and the sides were soon 4-on-4 when Ekman-Larsson was called for tripping during the extended power play.

    Just 19 seconds after Ekman-Larsson was sent off, Ekholm's shot on a 2-on-1 rush evaded Florida netminder Sergei Bobrovsky to put Edmonton up 1-0 with 8:43 remaining in the opening period.

    Florida drew even midway through the second period when Mikkola fired a drop pass from Lundell past Skinner.

    Bobrovsky finished with 18 saves, while Skinner stopped 25 of 28 shots.

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