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Florida Panthers decided against Carolina in the seventh period of the Stanley Cup

Crazy overtime drama in the Stanley Cup

LAS VEGAS. The seventh (!) period in the first conference final between Carolina and Florida came to an end.

Then Matthew Tkachuk got – who else? – grabbed the puck and whipped in the decisive 3-2 puck behind Frederik Andersen.

– It’s the most beautiful goal I’ve scored in my entire life, says the hero.

Many predicted that the conference finals between Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers would be even – and the first round at the PNC Arena in Raleigh last night certainly lived up to expectations in that regard.

At full-time, the game was tied 2-2 – and then it looked like Florida’s Ryan Lomberg scored right at the start of extra time, but that goal was ruled out for interference.

A full overtime period followed without any goals. And a second one. And a third. And a fourth, too, was coming to an end, as the clock in North Carolina neared 2 a.m.

Sixth longest in history

But with just thirteen seconds remaining, Sam Bennett got the puck to Matthew Tkachuk – the Cats’ leader, born to be a game winner – and he managed to bounce the puck behind Frederik Andersen.

Thus, the sixth longest game in Stanley Cup history was finally decided.

– It’s the most beautiful goal I’ve scored in my entire life, says Tkachuk, who immediately after the decision ran straight into the dressing room out of sheer joy.

– But there was no way we were going to lose an overtime like this, when Sergej Bobrovsky made 63 saves and the whole team put together a perfect effort in practically two games in a row.

“The worst way”

For the Hurricanes, of course, the loss was as brutal as the win was exhilarating for the opponents. Danish Andersen also stopped almost 60 pucks – and a star like Brent Burns played close to 55 minutes.

– It’s the worst possible way to lose, there’s no way around it, says coach Rod Brind’Amour.

The Swedes on the ice produced no points, but both Florida’s Gustav Forsling and Carolina’s Jesper Fast were there and toiled like animals. The former, who is a back, clocked in at just over 56 minutes and the latter in 36.

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