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2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Panthers vs. Rangers, Game 2: Lomberg Has Hit of Playoffs



Panthers lightning
Gus Forsling, Ryan Lomberg and Sasha Barkov congratulate Matthew Tkachuk after he scored in Game 1 against the Lightning on April 21. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

With all the talk of Matt Rempe jumping into the Rangers lineup, the biggest hit of the game — perhaps this entire playoff seasons — may have come from Ryan Lomberg of the Panthers.

Perhaps the Miami Dolphins may want to give him a call before training camp starts.

Lomberg, who returned to the Florida lineup in Game 6 against the Bruins, put a flying hit on New York’s Mika Zibanejad to free up the puck in the neutral zone.

The hit came with 6:21 left in a raucous first period — one filled with fists and hits.

New York opened the scoring at 4:12 of the first when Carter Verhaeghe got hit in the offensive zone by Alexis Lafreniere and lost the puck which ended up on the stick of a wide-open Vincent Trocheck on the backdoor.

Verhaeghe then dropped Lafreniere, setting off a melee as the Rangers’ goal song played throughout Madison Square Garden.

Matthew Tkachuk ended up on top of Trocheck and joined Verhaeghe in the penalty box for roughing; Lafreniere also got 2 minutes.

Midway through the first, Dmitry Kulikov slammed Alex Wennberg as he came through the neutral zone — long after Wennberg got rid of the puck.

Kulikov was called for interference and officials reviewed it for a 5-minute major.

It was just a minor.

Florida killed off two power plays in the opening period — with Verhaeghe tying it at 1 on a power-play shot from the slot with 1:51 remaining in the period.

“No one,’’ Paul Maurice told ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, “has been arrested yet.’’

Stay tuned.

  • When: Sunday, 3 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • 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 — Game 1: Florida 3, @New York 0; Game 2: Florida at New York, Friday; Game 3: New York at Florida, Sunday 3 (ABC); Game 4: Rangers at Panthers, Tuesday 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.
  • 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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