To get to the Eastern Conference Final, the Florida Panthers had to beat the mighty Boston Bruins and the talented Toronto Maple Leafs. The Panthers upset the record setting Bruins in a wild seven-game series. Florida had a much easier time against the Maple Leafs as they defeated them in five games.
The first game of the Eastern Conference Final was an exhilarating back and forth affair. It was the 6th longest game in NHL history. Hurricanes Center Seth Jarvis got his team on the board first just before the 1st period expired. Panthers Centers Aleksander Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe would each score in the second period to help give the Panthers a 2-1 lead.
Carolina Hurricanes Right Winger Stefan Noesen knotted up the score at 2 early in the 3rd period on a Power Play. Panthers Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made an amazing 63 saves to keep his squad in the game. Panthers first year Left Winger Matthew Tkachuk, who came over from Calgary in a blockbuster trade, ended the epic series of Overtime Periods, as he sent Florida fans home happy just before the 4th OT buzzer sounded. The game winning goal for Tkachuk was his 6th goal of the postseason. Tkachuk has provided an immediate impact in his first season as a Florida Panther.
The Panthers are looking to get back to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1996. They have never won a Stanley Cup before.