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2024 Stanley Cup Final

Tkachuk: Panthers Can Capture ‘Biggest Goal of Their Lives’



Florida panthers
Matthew Tkachuk enjoyed hoisting the Prince of Wales Trophy last year — but it ready to trade that for the Stanley Cup tonight. // Photo @GeorgeRichards

FORT LAUDERDALE — Amid a scoring slump, Matthew Tkachuk exudes confidence as the Florida Panthers look to win the Stanley Cup on home ice.

Tkachuk has not scored a goal in his past 10 games and has one assist in four games so far in the Stanley Cup Final.

Still, the Florida superstar’s spirits did not seem to be dampened when he stepped up to the podium with his team up 3-1 over the Edmonton Oilers.

“I’m looking forward to playing my best game of the series tonight,”Tkachuk said. “I thought, last game, I was nowhere near good enough. I could have been way better than that. Maybe the last four periods, going back to the third period of Game 3, I could’ve been a lot better. The good part about us is that it’s not about one guy. It’s not about individuals here.

“We’ve got the chance to capture the biggest goal of our lives tonight, so we’re gonna do that.”

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That is the closest you’re going to get from a Mark Messier-style guarantee from an NHL player these days.

It comes with the confidence and leadership Tkachuk brings to the Panthers locker room.

In terms of his play, and that swagger, his teammates and coaches have not been disappointed by what he’s been bringing.

After all, he only trails Sasha Barkov (21) by one point for the team lead with 20 points and his 15 assists lead the team.

“He’s been good,” coach Paul Maurice said. “You become desensitized, possibly by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but we’ve got stars too. But it’s not going to be flashy every shift. The inside play he makes to Sam Bennett on the goal [in Game 3] was an incredible play, right? I don’t expect that every time he touches the puck.

“All teams have really good players, both teams’ power plays have been quiet and that’s why both teams’ star players numbers are what they are. He’s fairly close to leading our team in scoring. We just need solid out of each guy.”

— The Panthers will have Ryan Lomberg back in the lineup tonight after he has been out since Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final against the New York Rangers.

Jayson Tatum, Tkachuk’s old high school chum from their days in St. Louis, won his first NBA championship on Monday night.

He said it’s time for Tkachuk to get his championship tonight.

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
  • Local Betting Odds — Panthers Favored: Money Line (-145); Puck line (-1.5, +170); Over/Under 5.5 (-110/-120). Series Panthers -1100
  • 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


17 Evan Rodrigues // 16 Sasha Barkov // 13 Sam Reinhart

23 Carter Verhaeghe // 9 Sam Bennett // 19 Matthew Tkachuk

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

94 Ryan Lomberg // 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, Steven Lorentz, 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


93 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins // 97 Connor McDavid // 18 Zach Hyman

71 Ryan McLeod // 29 Leon Draisaitl // 55 Dylan Holloway

13 Mattias Janmark // 19 Adam Henrique // 28 Connor Brown

37 Warren Foegele // 90 Corey Perry

14 Mattias Ekholm // 2 Evan Bouchard

25 Darnell Nurse // 73 Vincent Desharnais

86 Philip Broberg // 27 Brett Kulak

5 Codi Ceci

G 74 Stuart Skinner

G 30 Calvin Pickard

Scratched: Derek Ryan, Sam Gagner, Sam Carrick

Injured: Evander Kane (sports hernia), Troy Stecher (ankle)

Edmonton Oilers Lines Courtesy NHL.Com

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