(Sunrise) When the Florida Panthers go into overtime, the discussion in the locker room is all about one thing: who’s going to get the game-winning goal.
In fact, the identity of the hero does not matter, as long as there is one. And since the beginning of the series, it has been.
The Panthers’ overtime record in this spring ball is 7-0. That includes Thursday’s 3-2 win that cut the Vegas Golden Knights’ lead to 2-1 in the Stanley Cup Finals.
“Winning in regular time is good, just less hectic. If it’s in overtime, we allow ourselves to celebrate (more). »
Game 4 is Saturday night, once again in Florida.
Sergei Bobrovsky had his say going 7-0, stopping 56 shots.
On Thursday, Carter Verhaeghe had a second overtime goal in the current playoffs; he also scored two goals in added time in the 2022 playoffs.
“If we give him the disc, good things could happen,” Nick Cousins of the Panthers said. I can’t explain it (the perfect record). It really is something special. »
Matthew Tkachuk has ended the suspense three times in the current playoffs. He and Verhaeghe are the first teammates with more than one game-winning goal in overtime in the playoffs since 1993, when Guy Carbonneau, John Leclair and Kirk Muller managed it with the Canadiens.
Cousins and Sam Reinhart also hit the mark beyond 60 minutes this spring for the Felines.
“We have guys who are comfortable delivering the goods,” Panthers veteran Eric Staal said. We have guys who are made for those kinds of times. »
It’s not all that new for Florida, as the rallies and outcomes of previous rounds against the Bruins, Leafs and Hurricanes have shown.
Thursday’s victory was the Panthers’ first victory in the Finals, having been swept in 1996 by the Colorado Avalanche.
There is still a slope to overcome to triumph, but the club are convinced that they have what it takes to get there.
“We just believe in it,” Captain Aleksander Barkov said. We are playing the right way and if we keep doing that there will be opportunities. »