May 20th, 2024

NHL roundup: Panthers clinch first-round series with 6-1 win over Lightning

By The Associated Press on April 29, 2024.

Florida Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour (62) center Nick Cousins (21) and center Steven Lorentz (18) celebrate after the Panthers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning Game 5 of the first-round of an NHL Stanley Cup Playoff series, Monday, April 29, 2024, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) – Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves, Aleksander Barkov and Carter Carter Verhaeghe each had two goals and an assist, and the Florida Panthers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-1 in Game 5 on Monday night to clinch their first-round series and advance in the NHL playoffs.

Niko Mikkola had a goal and an assist, Evan Rodrigues also scored and Matthew Tkachuk had two assists for the Panthers, who won a playoff series against Tampa Bay for the first time in franchise history and clinched a post-season series at home for only the fourth time.

Florida bested Boston and Philadelphia on home ice in the first two rounds of the 1996 playoffs, then eliminated Carolina at home in last season’s Eastern Conference final en route to their second Stanley Cup final appearance.

Victor Hedman scored for the Lightning, which was eliminated in the first round for the second straight year after reaching the final three straight years. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 33 shots.

Elsewhere in the NHL on Monday:

STARS 4 GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2

LAS VEGAS (AP) – The Stars’ Wyatt Johnston scored his third goal in two games, and Dallas beat the defending champion Vegas Golden Knights to even their first-round NHL playoffs series at two games apiece.

Evgenii Dadonov, Ty Dellandrea and Roope Hintz also scored for the Stars, and Jake Oettinger made 33 saves.

Michael Amadio and Jack Eichel had goals for the Golden Knights, and Logan Thompson stopped 28 shots. Eichel has scored goals in three consecutive games and has six points in this series.

Game 5 is Wednesday night in Dallas. The road team has won every game so far.

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