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2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Florida Panthers Knock Out Bruins, New York Rangers Up Next



Panthers rangers
Florida Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky hugs Boston’s Jeremy Swayman following a 2-1 win over the Bruins in Game 6 on Friday night. // Photo courtesy @FlaPanthers

Moments after the Florida Panthers knocked the Bruins out of the playoffs Friday night, Matthew Tkachuk was asked about his team’s next opponent, the New York Rangers.

Tkachuk just rolled his head back and smiled.

“Oh, geez, that’s very soon to be asking about that one,’’ Tkachuk told TNT’s Anson Carter. He also did not say ‘geez.’

Tkachuk also had some things to say about the Rangers as he sat in an empty arena in his sweaty, torn undershirt.

“Watching their games throughout the playoffs, they have an unbelievable goaltender — like us — and a very well-rounded defense like us,’’ Tkachuk continued. “They also have some guys up front who can put the puck in the net. I would say their power play is their biggest strength from what I have seen so far in the playoffs.

“I think it will be a combination of Tampa and Boston, but maybe with some of their high-end skill and the power play, more like Tampa. Maybe.’’

The Panthers will have plenty of time to break down video of the Rangers following Friday night’s 2-1 win in Game 6 against the Bruins.

The team will fly back from Boston today, and will not play Game 1 until Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

Florida may have some bumps-and-bruises which could use the soak in between games.

First, you had captain Sasha Barkov block a David Pastrnak shot with his left hand which caused him to briefly leave the ice and go to the medical room.

Niko Mikkola also left the game for a time, as did Nick Cousins and Eetu Luostarinen.

The Panthers were in for a battle with the Bruins as the two teams combined for 561 hits throughout the series including 78 on Friday.

Florida did not have a lead against the Bruins after winning Game 4 in Boston.

The Bruins won Game 5 in Sunrise 2-1, and had a 1-0 lead Friday until Anton Lundell struck off a loose puck in the second period to tie it.

With 1:33 left, Gus Forsling won it.

“I got the rebound and, honestly, was just trying to get it to the net,” Forsling said. “I really didn’t see it. Just saw the reaction. It was amazing.”

The Panthers know a little about the Rangers as the two played twice in the final weeks of the season with Florida going 2-0-1 against the Blue Shirts.

New York, the NHL Presidents’ Trophy winners, appeared to be cruising to the Final Four after sweeping the Capitals and taking a 3-0 series lead against Carolina.

But the Hurricanes won two straight and, now famously, led 3-1 in the third period of Game 6 on Thursday night before Chris Kreider got a third-period hat trick for a 5-3 win.

The Panthers enjoyed their Friday night, reveled in knocking off the Bruins in Boston once again.

But they will soon get to the task at hand of prepping for a very dangerous New York team featuring old friend Vincent Trocheck.

”I really haven’t thought about that yet, but it’s going to be another fun series, another hard series,’’ Barkov said. “We’ll get at it tomorrow.’’

Yeah, that’s what coach Paul Maurice said.

“I need a day off.’’

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

  • When: Wednesday, 8 p.m.
  • Where: Madison Square Garden, New York
  • National TV: ESPN
  • 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 — Game 1: Panthers at Rangers, Wednesday, 8 (ESPN); Game 2: Panthers at Rangers, Friday 8 (ESPN); Game 3: Rangers at Panthers, Sunday May 26, 3 (ABC); Game 4: Rangers at Panthers, Tuesday May 28, 8 (ESPN): Game 5*: Panthers at Rangers, Thursday May 30, 8 (ESPN); Game 6*: Rangers at Panthers, Saturday June 1, 8 (ABC); Game 7*: Panthers at Rangers, Monday June 3, 8 (ESPN). (*) — If Necessary.
  • Second Round, Florida d. Boston 4-2 — Game 1: Boston 5, @Florida 1; Game 2: @Florida 6, Boston 1; Game 3: Florida 6, @Boston 2; Game 4: Florida 3, @Boston 2; Game 5: Boston 2, @Florida 1; Game 6: Florida 2, @Boston 1.
  • How They Got Here: Florida d. Tampa Bay 4-1, Boston 4-2; Rangers d. Washington 4-0, Carolina 4-2.
  • Last Season vs. Rangers — Regular Season: Rangers won 3-0
  • This Season (Panthers Won 2-1) — At Florida: Panthers 4 Rangers 3 (Dec. 29). At MSG: Panthers 4, Rangers 2 (March 4); Rangers 4, Panthers 3 OT (March 23).
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Rangers lead 61-34-8, 6 ties
  • Postseason History: Rangers Lead 1-0 (1997 1st)

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