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2024 Stanley Cup Final

Carter Verhaeghe Does It Again for Florida Panthers in the Playoffs



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Carter Verhaeghe’s game-winning goal in Game 1 against the Edmonton Oilers extended his franchise playoff record to 10. // Photo @GeorgeRichards

SUNRISE — When it comes to the playoffs, the Florida Panthers can usually count on Carter Verhaeghe to score.

So, it was little surprise to see Verhaeghe opening up the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday with the first goal of the night.

Thanks to Sergei Bobrovsky, that goal which came just before the 4-minute mark of the first period held up as the game-winner — Verhaeghe’s 10th playoff game-winner in 55 postseason games with the Panthers.

Matthew Tkachuk is second in franchise history with six.

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“I’m used to it, I guess,” Paul Maurice said. “He is an unusual performer, that man. He is so good in the most intense and almost chaotic play. He can raise that level. I don’t know … that I fully understand it. Clearly if there was something there as long as something else, I would do that as well.

“That guy, that guy’s a gamer. I think I said about Matthew last year with some off-color language in it, but he’s a gamer.”

Captain Sasha Barkov said Verhaeghe’s work ethic is what sets him apart.

Verhaeghe’s 25 playoff goals is also most in franchise history.

“He’s is definitely an elite player,” Barkov said, “he has elite speed and goal scoring ability and he works on it every single day. There’s no not surprise in that. He has a goal-scoring mindset where he wants to shoot the puck, and he knows how to shoot it. He’s been working on it every single day. That’s why he’s had success.”

Maurice said one of the attributes Maurice appreciates in Verhaeghe is how he earned this opportunity.

Verhaeghe’s path to the NHL is pretty well documented as he was drafted by the Maple Leafs, traded to the Islanders — where they had him shuttling between the AHL and ECHL — before getting his chance in the league with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

After winning the Stanley Cup with the Lightning in 2020, Verhaeghe signed with the Panthers.

The rest is history.

“I think maybe what I love the most is that it was not an easy path to the National Hockey League,” Maurice said, “the fight for all of it to get there. I think he trained himself to be wired in games the entire game. And that’s why when he gets into the bigger games, that’s how he operated.

“He and Gustav Forsling are similar in that. They had to work and try and compete and fight. He played in the East Coast League. He had to fight his way here, so when it’s wired and it’s on, that’s his wheel house.”

For More FHN Coverage of the Florida Panthers:

Florida leads Best-of-7 Series 1-0
  • When: Monday, 8 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • National TV: ABC
  • Streaming: ESPN+/Hulu
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Series Schedule, All Games 8 p.m. on ABC — Game 1: @Florida 3, Edmonton 0; Game 2: Edmonton at Florida, Monday; Game 3: Florida at Edmonton, Thursday; Game 4:Florida at Edmonton, Saturday June 15; Game 5*: Edmonton at Florida, Tuesday June 18; Game 6*: Florida at Edmonton, Friday June 21; Game 7*: Edmonton at Florida, Monday June 24. (*) – If Necessary
  • How They Got Here — Florida: d. Tampa Bay 4-1, Boston 4-2, New York Rangers 4-2; Edmonton: d. Los Angeles 4-1, Vancouver 4-3, Dallas 4-2.
  • This Season (Florida Won 2-0) — At Florida: Panthers 5, Oilers 3 (Nov. 20). At Edmonton: Panthers 5, Oilers 2 (Dec. 17).
  • Last Season: Edmonton Won 2-0
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Oilers lead 23-16-0, 3 ties
  • Postseason History: First Meeting

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