NHL Playoffs: Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Game 5 Recap | 04/29/2024

Barkov scores his second goal of the night in Game 5. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Back in Sunrise after splitting the games in Tampa, the Panthers looked to rebound and close out the series. Still no Bennett or Lomberg for Florida, so HC Paul Maurice rolled with the same lines as Games 3 & 4. The series win is notoriously the hardest game to win, and a reset for the Cats is especially necessary after such a rough go in Game 4. Back on home ice with the fans behind them the Panthers delivered a fantastic outing and got that final win. The team finally bested the Lightning in the Playoffs after losing to them the previous two times and will move on to Round 2 to take on either the Bruins or the Maple Leafs.

Tight First Period:

Florida wanted to close out the series while Tampa’s season was on the line. Both teams came out firing with speed and physical play. There is virtually no time or space for either team to get any type of extended O-zone time. Bobrovsky had a couple of big saves early; he looked locked in after getting announced as a Vezina Finalist earlier today. The Florida defense was all over Tampa players breaking up passes and plays or causing turnovers. The Cats got into a bit of penalty trouble in the first period, getting called for too many men, Montour got called for clipping, and Ekblad got called for roughing. However, they also got two power plays off of Eyssimont & Point getting called for roughing. It looked like Tampa had broken the ice first, but HC Paul Maurice challenged for goalie interference and was successful, so that goal came off the board. More tight checking and timely goalie saves from both sides meant that things ended 0-0 after the opening twenty minutes.

Barkov and Verhaeghe Lead The Charge:

It was a good first period for the Panthers, and they upped the ante in the second period. Captain Clutch Carter Verhaeghe officially broke the ice and put the Cats up 1-0 after he took a shot and then picked up his own rebound during the 4v4 to score. Verhaeghe owns the franchise record for most playoff goals, and with the two he scored in Game 5, it puts his total up to 20. His second goal of the night was an empty netter just three seconds after Tampa Bay pulled Vasilevskiy. Barkov gave Florida the temporary 2-0 lead after he scored short-handed and got his first goal of the playoffs. Although the Lightning scored a response goal, that would be their only goal of the night. Barkov, in the third period, gave the Panthers a 3-1 lead, picking up a rebound that went right to him and beat Vasilevskiy on the glove side. He also showed a rare emotional celebration after scoring his second goal of the night and had big hugs to share with his linemates. HC Paul Maurice shook up the forward lines in the second period and put Verhaeghe and Tkachuk on Barkov’s line, Luostarinen-Lundell-Reinhart back together, and then Tarasenko down on the third line with Rodrigues and Stenlund. That adjustment jump-started the offense and paid dividends for Florida.

Third Period Domination:

A familiarity in Florida’s third-period play was on full display Monday night. The Panthers have dominated teams in the final period during the regular season, and they poured on the offensive pressure in the final ten minutes. It was a tight first half of the period with scoring chances for both sides, but the Panthers finally broke it open off of Barkov’s second goal of the night and poured on the pressure afterward. Rodrigues took advantage of an odd-man rush and used speed to break into the zone and took a quick shot to score and give Florida the 4-1 lead. Two empty net goals from Verhaeghe and Mikkola sealed the game and the 6-1 win for the Panthers. Tampa still made an offensive push in those final minutes and Bobrovsky came up with big saves to keep the lead for the Cats. He’s been a huge part of the Panthers’ success and keeping the team in games even when perhaps the defense isn’t playing as well as it could be. Bob’s ice vision has been fantastic this series, and he’s made highlight-reel caliber saves. Florida came out in the final period looking to finish off the series and they did that with a huge statement by scoring four goals in the final twenty minutes of regulation. Florida will take on the winner of the Boston/Toronto series in Round 2.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

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