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2024 Stanley Cup Final

Ryan Lomberg Has ‘A Full Gas Tank,’ Back in Lineup for Florida Panthers



Florida panthers
Ryan Lomberg meets with the media in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday before Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Edmonton Oilers. // Photo courtesy Katie Engleson, Bally Sports @KatieEngleson

FORT LAUDERDALE — With the Stanley Cup in the building, Ryan Lomberg is back in the lineup for the Florida Panthers.

“I got a full gas tank,” the Lomberghini said, “so I’ll be excited to let some of it go.’’

It will be Lomberg’s fifth game of the postseason and his first since Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final against the New York Rangers.

“I am tremendously excited,” Lomberg said. “It’s a great opportunity for myself and the team here. It’s going to be tough to mix in a pre-game nap, but come game time, I’ll be ready to go.”

Over the past three of years, it has been unusual for Lomberg to see long spells out of the lineup for long stretches of time as he has during the playoffs.

The speedy, feisty 5-foot-9 winger has become a mainstay both on and ice for the Panthers. His tenacity and grit on the forecheck — with the occasional post-fight hair flip — have carved a role for him on the ice while his infectious smile and outgoing personality have made him a favorite both among his teammates and the fans.

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“He is very important,” Sasha Barkov said. “He is a vocal guy and when he’s on the ice, he’s electric. He’s fast, he’s physical, he brings that fun energy in the locker room and on the ice. In the games, he’s never quiet and that’s a good thing. He brings a lot of that to the team and we’re happy to have him.”

But a long spell with an illness combined with the play of Kyle Okposo and Steven Lorentz has made it hard for him to get back in the lineup.

Even after that, that smile never left his face.

“It’s kind of something I’ve learned throughout my career,” Lomberg said. “Being in and out, it doesn’t help anybody being down and being sour. That’s not what got me here and that’s not what’s going to help me when I get back in the lineup, so for me, it’s about staying true to myself. First and foremost, be a good teammate, work hard, so when the opportunity comes like it is tonight, I’m ready to go.”

When he was out of the lineup, he was just as enthusiastic as he was when he was in.

In practice, he was still throwing around his signature chirps and pumping everyone up when he could. He brought that same energy in the locker room (and the press box) before, during, and after games too.

That’s just who he is.

“It’s great energy that he brings to our room, but to give him credit, he also brings it when he wasn’t in the lineup,” coach Paul Maurice said. “The last change was made after a couple of overtime losses when we shifted players in and out and then we ripped off sided in a row and I’m not looking for a change at that point. But God, he had a great week at that time and he understood it.

“You have to work at that. You’re just not a happy guy every day or you’re not playing in the NHL. Life’s not like that. He was really good in practices and warm-ups, but I think that meant for me, that when he comes into the lineup, if he was sullen and disappointed, he doesn’t have to change his personality to come back in the lineup. His personality didn’t change when he was out, so when he comes into the room, he is the exact same guy he was five days ago when he wasn’t in the lineup.”

He’s been a part of this run whether he has been in or out of the lineup, and he is excited to get the chance to finish it with the chance to close the series out on home ice right in front of him.

“It’s been great,” Lomberg said. “I’m obviously tremendously proud of the group to be in this position we’re at. It’s the toughest one in front of us right now, so we’ve got to be ready for that, but it’s been a lot easier watching when we’re winning as opposed to losing, so the guys are doing a great job.”

For More FHN Coverage of the Florida Panthers:

Panthers Lead Best of 7 Series 3-1
  • When: Tuesday, 8 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, All Games 8 p.m. on ABC — Game 1: @Florida 3, Edmonton 0;Game 2: @Florida 4, Edmonton 1; Game 3: Florida 4, @Edmonton 3; Game 4: @Edmonton 8, Florida 1; Game 5: Edmonton at Florida, Tuesday; Game 6*: Florida at Edmonton, Friday; Game 7*:Edmonton at Florida, Monday June 24. (*) – If Necessary
  • How They Got Here — Florida: d. Tampa Bay 4-1, Boston 4-2, New York Rangers 4-2; Edmonton: d. Los Angeles 4-1, Vancouver 4-3, Dallas 4-2.
  • This Season (Florida Won 2-0) — At Florida: Panthers 5, Oilers 3 (Nov. 20). At Edmonton: Panthers 5, Oilers 2 (Dec. 17).
  • Last Season: Edmonton Won 2-0
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Oilers lead 23-16-0, 3 ties
  • Postseason History: First Meeting

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