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2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Sasha Barkov ‘Proud’ of His Florida Panthers After OT Win, 2-0 Lead



Florida panthers
The Florida Panthers mob Carter Verhaeghe after he scored the deciding goal in overtime on Tuesday. The Panthers take a 2-0 series lead to Tampa for Game 3 on Thursday. // Photo courtesy @FlaPanthers

SUNRISE — Florida Panthers captain Sasha Barkov said he was proud of the way his team fought throughout yet another tough battle against rival Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.

Florida took a two-goal lead into the second period, only to watch the Lightning tie the score early in the second period.

The Panthers, helped along by some terrific saves by goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, stayed in the battle — killing off a four-minute penalty in the third — and pulled out a 3-2 win in overtime.

Florida takes a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series to Tampa.

Game 3 is at Amalie Arena on Thursday at 7.

”That was a fun game to play,’’ Barkov told FHN following the game. “We know it is not going to be easy at all against the Lightning. We get up 2-0, obviously we know they are going to push us. They took momentum in the second period.

“But the big thing is, we did not slow down. We picked the momentum at the end of the second, played a good third. And, we have an amazing guy in the net.’’

Florida has been playing with a ton of confidence lately as it has won six straight games dating back to the start of its four-game homestand to close the regular season.

When it comes to the postseason, the Panthers have won 13 of their past 14 Eastern Conference playoff games dating to the Game 4 loss against the Boston Bruins a year ago.

“We know how to play in these tight games, we have been doing it all season and it goes back to the playoffs last year,’’ Barkov said. “We have confidence in tight games. We’re not going to play in their zone the whole game, but Bob helped us keep it tight and gave us a chance to win.’’

As far as how he feels about his team?

“I am really proud of them. Really proud,’’ Barkov said. “Obviously, we have big goals here. It is just amazing to be a part of this group here. It is really special to be able to come here and chase the same goal with these guys.’’

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

  • When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa 
  • Local TV/National TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida/TBS/HBOMax
  • Radio: 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
  • First Round (Panthers Lead 1-0) — Game 1: Panthers 3, Lightning 2; Game 2: Florida 3, Tampa Bay 2 OT; Game 3: Thursday at Tampa Bay, 7 (BSF, TBS); Game 4: Saturday Ap. 27 at Tampa Bay, 5 (BSF, TBS, TruTV); Game 5*: Monday Ap. 29 at Florida, TBA (BSF, TBA); Game 6*: Wednesday May 1 at Tampa Bay, TBA (BSF, TBA); Game 7*: Saturday May 4 at Florida, TBA (BSF, TBA). (*) — If necessary
  • 2023-24 Regular Season Series (Panthers Won 2-1) — At Tampa Bay: Panthers 3, Lightning 2 (Dec. 27)Panthers 9, Lightning 2 (Feb. 17). At Florida: Lightning 5, Panthers 3 (March 16).
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Florida leads 77-51-19, 10 ties
  • All-Time Postgame Series: Lightning Leads 2-0 (2021 first-round, 2022 ECS)

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