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Ryan Lomberg’s long road to becoming OT hero for Florida Panthers

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Florida Ryan Lomberg Panthers
Florida Panthers forward Ryan Lomberg — the ‘Lomborghini’ — became an unlikely overtime hero in Game 3 on Thursday night as he won it Tampa. // Photos by Roger Topalian, 21st Century Photography (561) 488-0000

On the day the Florida Panthers signed Ryan Lomberg as a free agent, general manager Bill Zito made a bold prediction.

“The fans are going to love him,” Zito said. “He is an energy forward who can fly and is an in-your-face, hard forward with hockey sense. He is a very fast, speedy wing who plays with an edge.”

Lomberg indeed became a fan favorite in the second half of this season once he got a real chance at some playing time.

One of his biggest moments came in April when he and Columbus’ Kole Sherwood squared off at center ice.

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After Lomberg got the takedown, he pulled off his helmet to flip his long hair, a mischievous grin shown on the big screen as he went directly to the penalty box.

Yeah, the fans were loving Ryan Lomberg.

I’m definitely excited to play in front of Panthers fans,” Lomberg told Florida Hockey Now in October after signing a two-year, one-way deal with Florida.

They loved him even more on Thursday night.

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