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2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Panthers at Rangers, Game 5: Desperate Times are Coming

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The Florida Panthers took to the ice at Madison Square Garden for their morning skate before Game 5 on Thursday. // Photo courtesy WSVN’s Josh Moser @TheMozKnowz

With the New York Rangers and Florida Panthers tied going into Game 5 tonight at Madison Square Garden, coach Paul Maurice said the two teams will be getting more desperate moving forward.

After tonight, Maurice pointed out, one team is going to be on the verge of elimination when this series comes back south on Saturday.

“In general, the team that loses last in the first four games has the emotional advantage,” Maurice said following Florida’s morning skate. “As you get into 5, 6 and 7, the desperation of finality … you can start to feel it now. In 48 hours, a very good team is going to be facing elimination. You can feel that. The desperation will be high for both teams tonight.”

The Panthers have been very good at playing through close games even as the Rangers are 2-1 in overtime games this series.

In last year’s Eastern Conference playoffs, the Panthers faced elimination three times against the Bruins and won all three to move on to the conference semifinals.

This postseason, neither the Panthers nor Rangers have faced elimination.

Neither wants to, either.

Thursday.

“It’s a good spot for us,” Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said per NHL.com. “We split here, we split down there, we come back for a Game 5 in our building. … We’re in a position where we know there’s three games remaining and we’re at MSG tonight in front of our fans and they’ve been incredible. They were incredible down in Florida. Certainly incredible in our building here. No place we’d rather be.”

— The starting goalies tonight: Sergei Bobrovsky for Florida, and Igor Shesterkin for the Rangers.

Carter Verhaeghe left the skate early after taking a puck to the face. Maurice said he took “a couple of stitches’’ and will be fine for tonight’s game.

— Florida will not be making any lineup changes from Game 3; it appears that Blake Wheeler, who hooked Sasha Barkov in overtime leading to Florida’s game-winning goal, will be scratched.

Jonah Gadjovich is back with the team after his wife gave birth to twins earlier this week.

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

PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS (2-2) LINES

23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov // 13 Sam Reinhart

17 Evan Rodrigues // 9 Sam Bennett // 19 Matthew Tkachuk

23 Eetu Luostarinen // 15 Anton Lundell // 10 Vladimir Tarasenko

18 Steven Lorentz // 82 Kevin Stenlund // 8 Kyle Okposo

42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad

77 Niko Mikkola //  62 Brandon Montour

91 Oliver Ekman-Larsson // 7 Dmitry Kulikov

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

41 Anthony Stolarz

Scratched: Nick Cousins, Ryan Lomberg, Tobias Bjornfot, Uvis Balinskis, Josh Mahura, Jonah Gadjovich, Spencer Knight, Rasmus Asplund, Mike Benning, Magnus Hellberg, Matt Kiersted, Will Lockwood, Mackie Samoskevich, Justin Sourdif, Patrick Giles

PROJECTED NEW YORK RANGERS (2-2) LINES

20 Chris Kreider // 93 Mika Zibanejad // 72 Filip Chytil

10 Artemi Panarin // 16 Vincent Trocheck // 13 Alexis Lafreniere

96 Jack Roslovic // 91 Alex Wennberg // 24 Kaapo Kakko

50 Will Cuylle // 21 Barclay Goodrow // 73 Matt Rempe

55 Ryan Lindgren // 23 Adam Fox

79 K’Andre Miller // 4 Braden Schneider

56 Erik Gustafsson //8 Jacob Trouba

31 Igor Shesterkin

30 Jonathan Quick

Scratched: Zac Jones, Chad Ruhwedel, Jonny Brodzinski, Adam Edstrom, Blake Wheeler, Alex Belzile, Brett Berard, Anton Blidh, Ben Harpur, Dylan Garand, Jake Leschyshyn, Connor Mackey, Victor Mancini, Brennan Othmann, Tyler Pitlick, Matthew Robertson, Brandon Scanlin, Adam Sykora

Injured: Jimmy Vesey (shoulder)

New York Rangers Lines Courtesy NHL.Com

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