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Panthers Shut Out Rangers To Take Game 1 Of Eastern Conference Finals – Hockey Writers – NHL News

The Florida Panthers defeated the New York Rangers 3-0 to take the first game in the Eastern Conference Final series.

Matthew Tkachuk opened the scoring to put Florida up 1-0. He has five goals in his first five career conference finals games.

Panthers defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson appeared to score the second goal, but after a Rangers challenge, Ryan Lomberg was ruled to have interfered with Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin, and the goal was disallowed.

The second goal for the Panthers was set up by Carter Verhaeghe when an attempted pass hit Alexis Lafreniere past Shesterkin.

Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky was outstanding on the night, registering 23 saves. Heading into the series, Bobrovsky has allowed two goals or less in six of his last seven starts, posting a 1.88 goals-against average with a .919 save percentage.

Sam Bennett added an empty netter to give the Panthers the final margin of victory.

The Panthers improved to 7-0 in their last seven contests during the conference finals, dating back to Game 6 of the 1996 conference finals.

News and notes

New York and Florida meet in the finals for the second time, the first time that happened when the Rangers won a five-game series in the conference quarterfinals in 1997, as the Rangers eliminated the Panthers in Round 1. During the 2023-24 regular season. , they met three times, the Panthers coming out on top with a 2-0-1 record.

Shesterkin appeared in his 39th playoff game and passed John Vanbiesbrouck (38 games) for fourth on the franchise’s all-time hit list. He trails only Henrik Lundqvist (130 games), Mike Richter (76 games) and Ed Giacomin (65 games).

The Panthers have won one of their last three playoff games and have not given up more than two goals in their last five games.

The two teams will meet again on Friday, May 24, at Madison Square Garden.

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