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2024 Stanley Cup Final

Florida Panthers Headed Back to the Stanley Cup Final

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Vincent Trocheck, who scored two of the Rangers’ 12 goals in the Eastern Conference final, shakes hands with Florida defenseman Gus Forsling following Game 6 in Sunrise on Saturday night. // Photo courtesy @FlaPanthers

SUNRISE — For the third time in franchise history and the second time within a span of a year, the Florida Panthers will play for the greatest trophy in sports: The Stanley Cup.

Florida won its third straight game in the Eastern Conference final on Saturday night, beating the New York Rangers 2-1 in Game 6.

The Panthers won the best-of-7 series 4-2 and will open the 2024 Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night.

If Edmonton beats the Dallas Stars in the West — the Oilers have a 3-2 lead with Game 6 tonight in Alberta — Florida will have home ice advantage with Game 1 in Sunrise.

If Dallas rallies to win in 7, Game 1 will be in north Texas.

Regardless, the Panthers are ready to roll after taking down the Lightning in 5, the Bruins in 6 and the Presidents’ Trophy winners on Saturday night.

“The job is not done,’’ said Sergei Bobrovsky, who came within 100 seconds of getting his second shutout of the series. “We made just a step. A good challenge is in front of us, and we’re excited for it.”

Florida, which won the final three games of the series after being down 2-1 following an overtime loss at home in Game 3, did a lot of good things against the Rangers and have every right to be feeling good about itself.

Coming into the series, the storyline was that the Panthers would have to stay out of the box to avoid New York’s potent power play.

Florida killed 14 of 15 with its exceptional penalty kill, the only goal scored coming from Vincent Trocheck in the first period of Game 4.

The Panthers also dominated the third period of games, outscoring the Rangers 7-3.

That may not sound like much, but considering all but the series opener were decided by a single goal and, well, yeah.

Florida also held New York’s top offensive players to four goals: Trocheck scored twice, with Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider getting the other two.

Panarin’s lone goal of the series came on New York’s 6-on-5 with 1:40 remaining in regulation. Kreider scored off a misplayed puck by Matthew Tkachuk on a penalty kill in Game 5.

The Panthers struggled to get things going against Igor Shesterkin but, at the end of the day, New York did not get a whole lot cooking against Bobrovsky, either.

Saturday night, Florida led 2-0 after Sam Bennett got his fourth of the series in the final minute of the first, and Vladimir Tarasenko scored midway through the third.

Florida clamped down and, aside from Panarin’s slick goal against his pal Bobrovsky, the Rangers did not threaten a whole lot.

“It was difficult to score,” New York coach Peter Laviolette said. “They weren’t giving up a lot.”

No, they were not.

For the most in-depth coverage of the Florida Panthers:

THE 2024 STANLEY CUP FINAL
FLORIDA PANTHERS (EC) V. DALLAS STARS or EDMONTON OILERS
GAME 1
  • When: Saturday, 8 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise (Edmonton) OR AmericanAirlines Center, Dallas
  • 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
  • IF EDMONTON — Game 1: Edmonton at Florida, Saturday; Game 2: Edmonton at Florida, Monday June 10; Game 3: Florida at Edmonton, Thursday June 13; 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
  • IF DALLAS — Game 1: Florida at Dallas, Saturday; Game 2:Florida at Dallas, Monday June 10; Game 3: Dallas at Florida, Thursday June 13; Game 4: Dallas at Florida, Saturday June 15; Game 5*: Florida at Dallas, Tuesday June 18; Game 6*: Dallas at Florida, Friday June 21; Game 7*: Florida at Dallas, Monday June 24. (*) – If Necessary
  • How Florida Got Here: Florida d. Tampa Bay 4-1, Boston 4-2, New York Rangers 4-2.
  • + VS. EDMONTON
  • 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: None
  • + VS. DALLAS
  • This Season (Panthers Won 2-0) — At Florida: Panthers 5, Stars 4 (Dec. 6). At Dallas: Panthers 4, Stars 3 (March 12).
  • Last Season: Dallas won 2-0
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Florida leads 26-21-2, 3 ties
  • Postseason History: None

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