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2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

No Penalty Shot for Sasha Barkov in OT. It Worked Out Just Fine

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Barkov panthers
Florida Panthers captain Sasha Barkov, warming up earlier this season, had another big game against the Rangers on Tuesday night in Sunrise. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

SUNRISE — Not too long after the Florida Panthers pulled out a 3-2 overtime win against the Rangers on Tuesday night, coach Paul Maurice was asked whether he preferred Sasha Barkov got a penalty shot after being hooked driving to the net or the power play which was handed out.

“I’m just not sure I want to answer that question because I want to tell you the truth,’’ Maurice said.

“I would say, I’ve got a pretty good idea after the game that the math on it is dead even. I think power play percentage is about 33.3 percent, which is exactly about – I’ve seen a bunch of breakaways not go in.

“Maybe the truth is, I don’t know. If you asked me if I got to pick one, which one I would pick? If we hadn’t scored, penalty shot all the way. That’s just the truth. I don’t know.”

It was certainly a call which could have gone either way.

Regardless, the Panthers ended up scoring on the power play that was handed out after Barkov was hooked as he was chased down by Blake Wheeler 59 seconds into overtime.

Moments before, Mika Zibanejad had a cross-ice pass kicked out of the Florida zone with Niko Mikkola getting a piece of it and pushing it ahead to Barkov.

Wheeler, playing in his first game since Feb. 15, trailed the play and chased down Barkov — but the only thing he could do was put a stick out and ended up pulling the Florida captain down as he drove the lane.

“They got behind us,’’ Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said. “It was a turnover at the offensive blue line and it was a tough spot for him to be in. There was a lot of heat on him, a lot of pressure. It was more what they did than him doing something. He was surrounded by a couple players. It bounces back the other way, the guys were chasing it down the best they could and ended up having to get a stick on him.”

It could have been a penalty shot call.

Instead, Florida went on the power play and 13 seconds later, Barkov fed Sam Reinhart in the slot for a one-timer that he blistered past Igor Shesterkin and that, as they say, was that.

The Panthers get a 3-2 win, even the series at 2 and head to New York in a best-of-3 situation.

Not bad.

Would Barkov had rather had a chance at the penalty shot — against a red-hot Shesterkin who previously only gave up a pair of goals off deflections?

“It’s OK,’’ Barkov said. “The referees made the call, so we’re OK with that.”

Regardless of how things worked out, it was yet another strong game from Barkov.

Florida’s captain assisted on two of his team’s goals, drew a pair of penalties, had six shot attempts and three hits in 22:04.

“The Barkov effect,’’ Maurice said as he broke down the play of his top line on Tuesday. “None of us have enough time to go through that tonight.”

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

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL
FLORIDA PANTHERS (ATL1) V. NEW YORK RANGERS (MET1)
Best-of-7 Series Tied at 2
GAME 5

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