Matthew Tkachuk again scores the game-winning goal and the Panthers eliminate the Hurricanes in four games
The Panthers, the last team to qualify for the Eastern Conference playoffs, continued their magical journey. After the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs, they knocked off the Carolina Hurricanes, three of the top four teams overall.
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For the first time since 1996, the Panthers are therefore returning to the grand final. They’ll be asking for a happier fate than their first dance, where they lost in four games to Patrick Roy and the Colorado Avalanche.
In the Eastern Final, the Panthers swept the Hurricanes. In this fourth match they signed off with a 4 to 3 win. For the fourth time they won with a difference of just one goal. And for the third time, Matthew Tkachuk scored the winning goal.
Author of the two overtime goals in the first two games in Raleigh, Tkachuk worked his magic by beating Frederik Anderson with just four seconds left in the third.
“I knew there wasn’t much time left,” Tkachuk said in an on-ice interview with Sportsnet after the game. Bennett made a good screen on this play. I’m so happy. It’s an incredible feeling. But we are still not done with our journey. »
Jordan Staal, captain of the Hurricanes, put his team in trouble by receiving a penalty with 57 seconds on the clock. He tripped defender Gustav Forsling when he was behind the goalkeeper’s goal.
The Panthers made him pay for the questionable penalty by getting another goal, both by Tkachuk, on that power play.
Brind’Amour contested the game-winning goal for Bennett’s obstruction against Andersen, but he did not win his case.
The Hurricanes tied the game at 3-3 late in the third period thanks to a goal from Jesper Fast.
A minimal difference
A sweep always strikes the imagination, especially in an association final. But this series was tougher than the final score suggests.
Paul Maurice and his players dealt a severe blow to the morale of the “Canes” by winning the first two games at the PNC Arena in Raleigh in overtime. The marathon four-overtime win in the opener likely boosted the Panthers’ confidence.
Bobrovsky got another quality start with 36 saves. Number 72 played in the head of the Hurricanes, allowing just six small goals in four games.
History repeats itself
Winners of the 2006 Stanley Cup, the Hurricanes appeared in the Eastern Final for the third time since their conquest. All three times they were violated by a broom. The Penguins (2009) and Bruins (2019) had also pulled out the broom.
Rod Brind’Amour was a privileged witness to the three eliminations in four. In 2009 he wore the captain’s “C”, while in 2019 and 2023 he was behind the bench as head coach.
The Hurricanes lost their fourth straight game against the Panthers. On the medical front, they also suffered two losses in this last meeting.
Jaccob Slavin left the game in the first seconds of the game after a hard-hitting check from Sam Bennett. The Panthers winger shouldered him in the chest, but Slavin’s head hit the boards before hitting the ice. The defender tried to get up quickly, but he couldn’t. He most likely suffered a concussion.
Stefan Noesen was also injured in this meeting. Brind’Amour therefore had to juggle eleven forwards and five defenders.