SUNRISE — The Florida Panthers enter Game 4 against the Toronto Maple Leafs with a chance to clinch their first Eastern Conference finals berth since 1996.
Even after taking a 3-0 lead in the series, the focus has remained the same: Go day-by-day and continue playing the same game.
”Throughout the playoffs, we’ve kind of taken the mentality of taking just one game at a time,” Josh Mahura said.
”Regardless of whether we are up and down, we’re just looking forward to coming to the rink and playing tonight.”
The Panthers will not be changing much as they enter Game 4.
They will run the same lineup since starting their six-game playoff winning streak during Game 5 of the first round.
Ryan Lomberg is still missing with a hand injury — although he did skate in a yellow, non-contact jersey in Wednesday morning’s pre-game skate — and the lines will remain the same.
“We have been reasonably healthy, I mean everybody’s got their guys that are dealing with something but being able to put those guys in the lineup and that consistency in your routine, it’s important,” coach Paul Maurice said.
”You just can’t be a slave to it because you have to handle the adversity and what you would eventually call distractions and things that change in your day.”
The Panthers know the Maple Leafs will be throwing the kitchen sink at them in Game 4, desperately trying to keep their season alive.
But the thought of preventing a Game 5 in Toronto is not on Florida’s mind either.
They are preparing for Wednesday’s game the same way they have with the past six, and that seems like that has worked out just fine.
“Regardless of where the series is at, we know they are going to come out and give their best effort,” Mahura said.
“We are just coming to the rink preparing to play our best game of the series.”
The starting goalies will be Sergei Bobrovsky and Joseph Woll.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (ATL2) AT FLORIDA PANTHERS (WC2)
GAME 4 (Florida Leads 3-0)
- When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.
- Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- TV: ESPN
- Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- DraftKings odds — Maple Leafs Favored: Money Line (-115); Puck line (-1.5, +185); Over/Under 6.5 (-130/+110). Series: Florida -1200/+700.
- First Round Schedule — Game 1: Florida 4, @Toronto 2; Game 2: Florida 3, @Toronto 2; Game 3: @Florida 3, Toronto 2 (OT); Game 4: Wednesday at Florida, 7 (ESPN); Game 5*:Friday, May 12 at Toronto (TNT); Game 6*: Sunday, May 14 at Florida (TBA); Game 7*:May 16 at Toronto (TNT). (*) – If Necessary
- How They Got Here: Toronto d. Tampa Bay 4-2; Florida d. Boston 4-3
- Season Series (Toronto won 3-1): Maple Leafs 5, @Panthers 4 OT (Jan. 17); @Maple Leafs 6, Panthers 2 (Mar. 23); Panthers 3, @Maple Leafs 2 OT (March 29); Maple Leafs 2, @Panthers 1 OT (April 10)
- Last season: Florida won 2-1
- All-time Regular Season Series: Toronto leads 48-36-7, 7 ties
- Postseason History: First Meeting
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP
23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov // 10 Anthony Duclair
21 Nick Cousins // 9 Sam Bennett // 19 Matthew Tkachuk
27 Eetu Luostarinen // 15 Anton Lundell // 13 Sam Reinhart
22 Zac Dalpe // 12 Eric Staal // 6 Colin White
42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad
18 Marc Staal // 62 Brandon Montour
28 Josh Mahura // 7 Radko Gudas
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
34 Alex Lyon
Scratched: Mike Benning, Evan Fitzpatrick, Givani Smith, Casey Fitzgerald, Lucas Carlsson, Connor Bunnaman, Grigori Denisenko, Patrick Giles, Mack Guzda, Aleksi Heponiemi, Matt Kiersted, Santtu Kinnunen, John Ludvig, Mackie Samsoskevich, Calle Sjalin
Injured: Patric Hornqvist (LTIR-concussion), Ryan Lomberg (hand)
PROJECTED TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS LINEUP
19 Calle Jarnkrok // 34 Auston Matthews // 16 Mitch Marner
15 Alexander Kerfoot // 91 John Tavares //88 William Nylander
58 Michael Bunting // 90 Ryan O’Reilly // 52 Noel Acciari
24 Zach Auston-Reese // 64 David Kampf //28 Sam Lafferty
44 Morgan Reilly // 2 Luke Schenn
3 Justin Holl // 78 T.J. Brodie
22 Jake McCabe // 37 Timothy Liljegren
60 Joseph Woll
30 Matt Murray