Florida beat Carolina • One win away from the Stanley Cup Final
NEW YORK. The Florida Cats are one win away from making the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
They beat Carolina for the third time in a row last night – and the impossible Sergej Bobrovsky kept a clean sheet.
– I am so grateful to be a part of this, he says to former goalkeeper colleague Henrik Lundqvist in the TNT studio after the 1-0 victory.
It has been 27 years since Florida Panthers played in their most recent – and so far only – Stanley Cup Final, but now they are truly on the threshold of hockey’s biggest event once again.
With the win last night, secured by a power play goal by Sam Reinhart midway through the second period, they took a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals and can sweep Carolina in the next game.
Played great last night
If so, they do it primarily thanks to goalkeeper Sergej Bobrovsky, because he stole the duel of the night – straight up and down.
The Hurricanes carried the game and won the shots by a superior 32-17, but they could not get a hole on the 34-year-old veteran. He stopped all shots and kept a clean sheet in the biggest game of the year.
Then he is praised in an interview with colleague Henrik Lundqvist in the television channel TNT’s Stanley Cup studio – and is extremely happy.
– It is a great honor for me just to be able to speak with a legend like you, Henrik, he says.
But about himself, he avoids using particularly big words.
– I’m so happy and grateful to be a part of this, it’s the best time, continues the hottest Stanley Cup target since Boston’s Tim Thomas in 2011.
– But I give all the credit to my teammates, they play so well in front of me and make it so easy for me.
The star was forced to retire
One of the people who takes the most responsibility in front of his goalkeeper is the brilliant Finnish center Aleksander Barkov, but due to an unknown injury he was forced to stop the night’s match already in the first period and there is a risk that he will be absent in the future as well.
However, the often joking coach Paul Maurice gives no information whatsoever on the matter, instead he pulls a robbery story that it was for a Bar Mitzvah at his neighbor “Sasha” left the game…
For the Hurricanes, the situation is now precarious. They play as well as they can but manage to score no goals, so very little suggests they can become just the fifth team in a hundred years to turn a 0-3 deficit into victory.
– If we are frustrated? Well, how could we not be, sighs coach Rod Brind’Amour.
The next match – when the cats can therefore be ready for the final – will be played on the night of Thursday.
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