The Panthers completed a sweep of the Hurricanes with late Matthew Tkachuk heroics that sent Florida to their first Stanley Cup Final in decades.
That sound you heard is the roar of Florida Panthers fans in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and around the world.
The Panthers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 at FLA Live Arena on Wednesday, ending a 4-0 streak and securing their spot in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1996.
Matthew Tkachuk proved to be the hero for the Panthers once again, scoring twice. His second layup was the game-winner with 4.3 seconds remaining, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
According to Sportsnet, Tkachuk’s game-winner became the last series-winning goal in Stanley Cup playoff history, matching the record set by Nick Metz of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1942.
It wasn’t the first time Tkachuk showed off his clutch ability in the series. He scored overtime winners in Games 1 and 2, further cementing his status as a game-changer. In his incredible performances, Tkachuk has nine goals and 12 assists in 16 postseason contests, making him the seventh player in the last decade to score 20-plus points in his first postseason with the franchise.
His teammates were in awe of his contributions. “Panthers” defender Aaron Ekblad could not help but express his admiration for Tkachuk’s exceptional play, saying: “What he’s done is unexplainable,” in a postgame interview with The Athletic’s Michael Russo.