Florida Panthers end 27 years of frustration and go to the second round

Since they beat Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL Eastern Conference Finals, only to be swept in the Finals by Colorado Avalanche, in South Florida they had never again had the satisfaction of getting past a playoff round. In 2022 that drought has come to an end, and after accounting for the washington capitals, This new and exciting project gets its first endorsement. The second step will be an authentic ceremony of arrival in the world of adults, Toronto Maple Leafs either Tampa Bay Lightning They will be your rivals in the next round.

This it’s the only tie on Friday night that went to termbecause both Rangers and Stars forced the seventh and decisive game of the tie, giving us up to five do-or-die games for this weekend’s nights to draw the final table of conference semifinalists.

After the setback suffered in Madison before the first opportunity to close the tie seeing how the Rangers raised a two-goal lead, the Penguins faced this game wanting to shelve and expect a rival to the warmth of home and hopeful news about Sidney Crosby, that after the collision with Jacob Trouba he left the previous match six minutes from the end of the second period.

When a player like Crosby is missingwhich has been the propellant and soul of these Pens while it has been in the ice, it is time for other veterans and good players to show their faces. The first of them, Jeff Carter, that he was also a two-time champion with Los angel kings he caught a rebound against Shesterkin and took the opportunity to put the locals ahead to the delirium of the fans. With the Rangers still digesting the score, Jake Guentzel demonstrating that he knows how to assist as well as score, he put the puck to Bryan Rust doubling the score and returning the tie to a situation in which it gave them the opportunity to undo the wrong of the previous game, and this time supported by their public.

But despite being warned, the Pens couldn’t stop a Mika Zibanejad who went through the PPG Paints Arena like a cyclone on Friday night. Two practically consecutive goals at the beginning of the second period tied the score, and Chris Creeder at 13:48, he extended his love story with this season’s goal and turned the result upside down, with a secondary assist from Shesterkin to Zibanejad to give Kreider the final pass that many skaters would not be able to give even in a hundred attempts.

The Pens had the ranking candy a stone’s throw away and they weren’t going to give it up.and the surviving member of the Pittsburgh dynamic duo, Yevgeni Malkin, guessed the pass Adam Fox to K’André Miller to take the disc and go straight to Shesterkin to beat him and close the second period in a draw.

the party entered in the last minutes in the form of covert extra timebecause it was smelled both from inside and outside the ice that the team that scored would win, and it was the blueshirts, again through Kreider, who did it and ended up taking the game and the series to a tie that will be broken final Sunday night at the Madison Square Garden.

Intense battle in the Capital One Arena of the American capital between the host Capitals and the visiting Panthers, there was no respite for either team during the 60 minutes of regulated play and almost three of overtime that were on the ice.

Ovechkin and his boys came out well motivated and surrounded Bobrovsky’s goalagainst some Panthers who were also looking for their opportunities, but not as demanded by the possibility of elimination as their rivals and came out unscathed from that push, since the period ended without goals that went up on the scoreboard.

A second period very similar to the first, with a physical display without the appearance of being exhausted, but with some Panthers that began to become more present in the game, especially since Nick Dowd’s first local goal, who at the right time, in the right place, appeared to pick up the puck of Hathaway from the bottom and beat Bobrovsky. But in just three minutes another opportunist, in this case Ryan Lomber He caught the rebound given by Samsonov to Hornqvist’s shot and left a tie that would prevail on the scoreboard until the end of the period.

The third period arrived, and the time to give the chest for both teams and Nicklas Backstrom gave the killer touch to the pill sent from the blue line by Justin Schultz to put the Caps ahead. That goal could have been enough, it could have sapped the morale of the Panthers of the past, but not of the present, because they play better and have brought true veterans of a thousand battles to their team like ClaudeGiroux, that after eight minutes he returned to tie the game and six minutes later he assisted Barkov to put the cats ahead with a sigh of time before the snorts and frustration of the people from the capital.

Frustration not resignationbefore the all or nothing that the locals faced and with the favorable wind of a numerical superiority reinforced with an empty goal, served for TJ Oshie to bring joy to his team and the match to extra time.

An extra time that was only the extension of what seemed urgent at the end of the third period, because at 2:46, Carter Verhaeghe was once again decisive in extra time, and once again gave him the victory not only in the match, but also in the series. Florida Panthers, before some Washington Capitals who spent another of the last bullets they enjoy while alex ovechkin pull the cart from this team.

Another dog-fight between Dallas and Calgary, another game with a tight score and fought by the two teams as if it were a seventh. Because only in this way can a duel be faced between two authentic foxes on the benches like Rick Bowness Y Darryl Sutter.

The first to hit were the locals, Roope Hintz he shot from the left circle and beat Markstrom, giving the Stars their first lead of the game late in the first period. An advantage that doubled in the second Michael Raffl, who reached the puck after Kiviranta’s fight with Markstrom, initially won by the Swedish goalkeeper, but he left the puck loose at the opponent’s disposal to score.

Under normal conditions in this tie such an advantage would have been deadly of necessitybut the Flames pulled on that good hockey for which they are trained and with goals from Stone and Backlund, they announced to the locals that there was still a way to go towards victory.

And Dallas accepted the challenge, I look at Heiskanen not only as leader of the defense, but this time as a scorerscored the decisive goal that led his team to victory forcing another decisive game that if the previous six have seemed agonistic to us, they will be a pachanga compared to the one that awaits us with the classification prize for the winner.