NEW YORK – The Florida Panthers feel like they’re in a good spot.

Despite barely missing out on a chance to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Final with a 2-1 overtime loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Friday, the Panthers know they’re still set up nicely moving forward after getting a 1-1 split on the road.

Looking to bounce back, Game 3 will get underway at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday in Sunrise.

“It’s learning from it and being better next game,” forward Evan Rodrigues said of turning the page after Game 2. “We’ve had a good mindset all year on fixing the things that we might not have done to the best of our ability and coming out and playing hard next game.”

Down but never out, the Panthers have excelled in doing just that in this year’s playoffs.

In games following losses, they’ve gone 3-0.

“After a loss, we come to the rink with a little more focus, a little more energy,” forward Nick Cousins said. “It’s a quick turnaround, early afternoon start. After a loss, you want to get back it. We’ll get some rest today, get on the plane and get ready for the game tomorrow.”

Following two games in the Empire State, the Panthers are also eager to get back to playing in front of their own fans for Games 3 and 4 at Amerant Bank Arena. Feeding off the energy of the home crowd, they’ve posted a 4-2 record in their own barn during this year’s playoffs.

In those six games, they’ve led 20-13 in goals.

Carrying play, they’re also averaging 34.2 shots on goal and 24.3 shots against at home.

“It’s nice to get right back into it,” Rodrigues said. “It’ll be important for us to do the right things today and get recovered for tomorrow. Make sure you take care of your body, wake up and get right back at it.”

As it was during the first two games of this incredibly tight series between two division champions, the Panthers know they’ll need to continue to manage the highs and lows.

With each team guaranteed to own certain parts of each game, patience will be key.

“There are times when you kind of need stop the bleeding or cut things off,” head coach Paul Maurice said. “In that time, you just want to play as simple a game as possible. Just drop your risk profile right down, so nothing through the middle, nothing that you can’t control in terms of where the puck goes. Then you’re just patient in the game. Not passive, just patient.”

Tickets for Games 3 and 4 can be found HERE.


Through the first two rounds, the power play was New York’s bread and butter.

In two games against the Panthers, they’ve gone hungry.

Entering the series with a lethal 31.4% success rate, the Rangers have come up empty on six trips to the man advantage through the first two games of the Eastern Conference Final.

In Game 2, Florida went 4-for-4 on the PK, including surviving 1:35 of a 4-on-3 disadvantage.

“There haven’t been long power-play flurries where you’re under siege, “Maurice said. “They had one good shot off the flank last game, but the penalty kill for both teams has been outstanding.”

Clogging up shooting lanes, the Panthers have allowed just 10 shots on goal over 11:14 of shorthanded time on ice, with just four of those attempts coming from high-danger areas.

Getting bodies into those lanes, they’ve blocked 29 shots on the PK.

A team-high seven of those blocks belong to defenseman Gustav Forsling.

“We’ve been really good,” said Stenlund, who’s seen 4:49 of ice time on the PK. “We’ve been steady, staying in lanes. There haven’t been penalties on our side, which helps.”

That’s true.

Over their last four games, the Panthers have taken just 13 minor penalties.

While the penalty kill has been outstanding, not calling upon it often is also important.  


- Florida has not allowed a goal at 5-on-5 when the line of Aleksander Barkov, Sam Reinhart and Vladimir Tarasenko has been on the ice through the first two games against New York.

- Sergei Bobrovsky has 12 high-danger saves through the first two games of the series.

- Aleksander Barkov has notched a team-high 10 points (four goals, six assists) over the course of six home games in this year’s playoffs, while also winning 64.7% of his faceoffs.

- Three players for the Panthers have reached the 40-hit mark already in this year’s playoffs: Aaron Ekblad (43), Eetu Luostarinen (42) and Evan Rodrigues (40).

- The Panthers owned a 26-13-2 record at Amerant Bank Arena in the regular season.

- In their one game against the Rangers in Sunrise during the regular season, the Panthers earned a 4-3 win on Dec. 29 behind a two-goal performance from Sam Reinhart