Igor Shesterkin shines as Rangers edge past Panthers in overtime

SUNRISE, Fla. — Alex Wennberg scored at 5:35 of overtime, and the New York Rangers regained home-ice advantage in the Eastern Conference Finals with a 5-4 victory over the Florida Panthers in Game 3 on Sunday.

Ryan Lindgren hit a shot from the left point and Wennberg — in front of the Florida net — redirected it past Sergei Bobrovsky to give the Rangers a 2-1 series lead.

Igor Shesterkin put up 34 points, Alexis Lafreniere scored twice and Barclay Goodreau continued his upset playoff run with two more goals for the Rangers.

Sam Reinhart scored twice on the power play, while Aleksander Barkov and Gustav Forsling also scored for the Panthers, who will host Game 4 on Tuesday night. Bobrovsky stopped 18 shots for Florida, which dropped back-to-back games for the first time in these playoffs — both in overtime.

New York took a 4-2 lead into the third. The Rangers were 26-0-1 this season entering Sunday in games in which they led by two or more goals with 20 minutes remaining.

The Panthers were unfazed, though, as they were tied just before the 1:02 mark.

Barkov and Forsling scored less than two minutes apart in the third period to erase a two-goal deficit, and Florida got a break – the right break – with 7:34 remaining when Barkov was originally called for a high stick that could have given the Rangers a 4-minute power play. But upon review, it was determined that Mika Zibanejad was hit with his own stick and Barkov’s penalty kill went off the board.

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From there, the rest of the organization was, depending on perspective, either all Panthers or all Shesterkins.

Over the final 8:10 of the third, the NHL tallied 24 shot attempts — all from Florida, as the Panthers unleashed a barrage of bullets on Shesterkin. Of the 24 shot attempts, only six were on target and had to be saved; Nine were blocked, eight were missed and one hit the post.

None of them could find the net, and the teams went to extra time.

The wild start was likely long forgotten in the end, as it was a complete reversal of how the first two games went at Madison Square Garden when Bobrovsky gave up two goals and Shesterkin gave up two — not including the own goal and empty net. – In 134 minutes of play.

Sunday was different. The score was 2-2 after 15 minutes.

Reinhart opened the scoring, and Lafreniere and Gaudreau scored 25 seconds apart — the fifth-fastest pair of goals in Rangers history — to put New York up 2-1. Reinhardt later equalized the opening goal with a goal very similar to his first, a backhand lob that he lofted past Shesterkin from underneath.

Lafreniere and Gaudreau each scored again in the second, and Florida answered in the third. But it was the Rangers who scored the final goal, and they are now just two wins away from their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final since 2014.

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