Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov holds the Prince of Wales trophy after the Panthers won Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference finals against the Carolina Hurricanes, Wednesday, May 24, 2023, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Florida Panthers Advance to Stanley Cup Final

The Florida Panthers completed a sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes Thursday night. A stunner goal from standout Matthew Tkachuk that zipped in with four seconds left in regulation gave the Panthers their bid into the final series of the NHL season. The Panthers’ unprecedented run will now continue into the Stanley Cup Final.

The Florida Panthers pose with the Prince of Wales trophy after winning Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference finals against the Carolina Hurricanes, Wednesday, May 24, 2023, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Miami Vice

There must be something in the air in Miami. Just like the Heat, the Panthers have been able to put together a postseason run out of the most unlikely of places.

For much of the regular season, Florida was a lackluster team whose GM Bill Zito made a widely criticized move by keeping most of his team during the duration of the trade season. This move paid off, however, when the Panthers came from the top rope and made a winning run that secured them the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Boston Beatdown

The Panthers began their magical run with a series win over the Boston Bruins, who had the best season in NHL history record-wise.

By the end of the series, Florida was able to pull out a 4-3 victory.

Matthew Tkachuk currently sits at nine goals and 12 assists on the season. The Bruins next scorer was Tyler Bertuzzi, finishing with five goals this season.

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brent Burns (8) and Florida Panthers left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) battle for the puck during the third period of Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference finals, Wednesday, May 24, 2023, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Maple Leaf Sweep

The Panthers continued their momentum with a 4-1 gentleman’s sweep of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Panthers showed their confidence in multiple moments throughout the five-game set, with moments like the two goals scored by Florida in under 50 seconds during Game 2.

Looking Ahead

The Vegas Golden Knights look to close out their series with the Dallas Stars Saturday.

The Golden Knights are currently up 3-1.

Vegas’ defensive effort has been able to successfully frustrate the Stars’ offense.

The stylistic matchup between the Golden Knights and Panthers should be a fascinating watch if Vegas is able to close out the series.

About Tyler Kenyon

Tyler Kenyon is a Tampa, FL native who is a third-year journalism and business student at the University of Florida.

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