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How the Panthers shut down the Rangers to take Game 1: 5 takeaways

NEW YORK The Florida Panthers and Sergei Bobrovsky silenced the New York Rangers on Wednesday in the first game of the Eastern Conference Final. The Panthers defeated the Rangers 3-0 by keeping their offence in neutral for the majority of the game thanks to 23 saves from Bobrovsky.

16:26 into the game, Matthew Tkachuk beat Igor Shesterkin with an apparent wrist shot to score the first goal of the evening. Bobrovsky and his colleagues finished the job. After the Panthers stopped the Rangers’ offence from getting going for the first fifty minutes, Bobrovsky slammed the door during the second part of the third to give Florida a 1-0 series lead.

Eighty-45 seconds into the third period, Oliver Ekman-Larsson looked to have given the Panthers a two-goal lead, but the Rangers challenged for goalie interference and won the goal, with Ryan Lomberg being called for bumping Shesterkin prior to the shot. After a following penalty kill, the Rangers gained some momentum and came close to equal the score on attempts from Alex Wennberg and Alexis Lafrenière, but Bobrovsky blocked two of them and Lafrenière’s attempt went off the post.

With 3:48 remaining, Carter Verhaeghe gave the Panthers a two-goal advantage. A puck was delicately played to the side wall by Shesterkin, and when Verhaeghe attempted a centering feed, Lafrenière deflected it through Shesterkin’s pads. With 1:19 remaining, Sam Bennett scored an empty-net goal to tie the score. Peter Laviolette, the coach of the Rangers, stated, “I think we can play better.” “I don’t believe that was our best selves at all.”

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