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The Rangers Beat The Panthers In OT 5-4 To Take 2-1 Advantage In The Series

Curtesy Of New York Rangers Communications

Sunrise, FL—-Igor Shesterkin’s stellar performance gave the New York Rangers an opportunity, while Alex Wennberg’s timely deflection secured their victory. With Wennberg’s overtime goal (5-4), the Rangers regained home-ice advantage in the Eastern Conference finals, leading the series 2-1.

Despite Wennberg’s limited prior scoring, he emphasized the team’s collective effort. Ryan Lindgren’s shot, redirected by Wennberg, clinched the win for New York. Shesterkin’s 33 saves, coupled with goals from Alexis Lafrenière and Barclay Goodrow, propelled the Rangers to victory.

“This is a team,” said Wennberg, who had one goal in his first 31 games with the Rangers since being acquired in March from Seattle for draft picks. “It doesn’t matter who’s the hero. It doesn’t matter who does it, we have everyone fighting for one another. Yeah, maybe I haven’t put up the same amount of points, but we’re a team. Everything we do we do together.”

Sam Reinhart’s power-play goals and contributions from Aleksander Barkov and Gustav Forsling kept the Panthers competitive. Although Florida launched a relentless offensive in the final minutes, Shesterkin stood firm, forcing the game into overtime. Despite the Panthers’ offensive onslaught, none of their attempts found the net, leading to Wennberg’s game-winner.

Reinhart opened the scoring, Lafrenière and Goodrow scored 25 seconds apart, the fifth-fastest pair of goals in Rangers playoff history — for a 2-1 Rangers’ lead. Reinhart knotted it later in the first on a goal very close to his first one, a backhander shot he snucked past Shesterkin.

Lafrenière and Goodrow each scored again in the second, Florida answered in the third period. But it was the Rangers who struck last, and they’re now just two wins away from their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final since 2014.

“This team, we have that belief,” Wennberg said. “Maybe not the most vocal kind of thing, but we all look at each other and we know what to do.”

The intense matchup highlighted the teams’ resilience, setting the stage for a pivotal Game 4.