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2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Stanley Cup Champ Vladimir Tarasenko Knows Experience Counts

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Vladimir Tarasenko, pictured here celebrating his first goal with the Florida Panthers on March 9 against Calgary, won the Stanley Cup with St. Louis in 2019. // Roger Lee Photographer (561) 866-2000

FORT LAUDERDALE — Although the Florida Panthers come into this postseason with much more playoff experience than in past years, only two players know the feeling of hoisting the Stanley Cup. Vladimir Tarasenko is one of them.

Tarasenko, who joined the Panthers in a deadline deal with the Ottawa Senators, won the Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues in 2019.

While he and Carter Verhaeghe are the only players on the Panthers to have won the Cup, he was an integral part of the Blues’ run to their only championship.

As is usually the case, the Blues had to endure some losses before they got the ultimate goal.

Tarasenko says experiencing the ups-and-downs of a playoff can help a team.

Florida, like St. Louis in the 2010s, got close last year in losing to the Vegas Golden Knights in the Final.

Before winning it all in 2019, the Blues missed the postseason — but made it to the Western Conference finals in 2016 before being knocked out in the semifinals in 2017.

“We had been to the playoffs almost every year, went to the conference finals once and had a lot of experience,’’ Tarasenko said. “I think the deeper you go, the more stuff you learn and understand. This team here had such a good experience last year in the playoffs, it can help a lot.

“This group is very confident, very tight. It is a great group of guys to play with. There is a lot of confidence and we always play hard.”

Tarasenko had to waive his no-trade clause to come to the Panthers, and, he told the Senators that Florida was the only place he would do that for. 

Not only does his family live in Weston, but he wanted a chance to win the Stanley Cup.

The Panthers are considered one of the favorites to do so.

It all starts today in Game 1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“Everyone is excited,’’ he said. “The reason we play all year long is for the chance to compete for the Stanley Cup. It is always great. The playoffs are so much fun, so filled with emotion. I was lucky enough to win it during my career with St. Louis. We have a very good team here. I am excited for it.’’

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

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
EASTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (WC1) VS. FLORIDA PANTHERS (ATL1)
GAME 1
  • When: Sunday, 12:30 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • Local TV/National TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida/ESPN/ESPN+
  • 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 Schedule — Game 1: Sunday at Florida, 12:30 p.m. (BSF, ESPN); Game 2: Tuesday at Florida, 7:30 (BSF, ESPN2); 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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