The first round at the Panthers

The first round at the Panthers
The first round at the Panthers

NEW YORK – Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves and the Florida Panthers blanked the New York Rangers 3-0 at Madison Square Garden in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final on Wednesday.

This is Bobrovsky’s second career playoff shutout in 82 games (76 starts).

Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and an assist, while Carter Verhaeghe and Sam Bennett also scored for Florida. The Panthers are now 5-1 on the road since the start of the playoffs and have posted four straight victories away from home.

Game 2 of series four of seven will take place Friday, again in New York.

Igor Sheshterkin stopped 24 of 26 shots aimed at him in front of the Rangers cage.

Tkachuk opened the scoring at 16:26 of the first period. The Panthers restarted the counterattack after Artemi Panarin lost the puck in offensive territory, and Tkachuk beat Sherterkin with a wrist shot that the Rangers goaltender would probably want to see again.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson thought he had doubled the Panthers’ lead at 8:43 of the third period with a shot from the left circle, but the Rangers contested the goal under the pretext of obstruction of the goaltender. The replay proved the home side right, as it was judged that Ryan Lomberg had prevented Shesterkin from doing his job properly to deal with the shot.

Verhaeghe finally made it 2-0 with 3:38 left. His throw in front of the net was accidentally deflected by Alexis Lafrenière between his goalkeeper’s pads.

Bennett sealed the game with an empty-net goal at 18:41.

#French

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