Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky #72 of the Florida Panthers defends the net against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Final. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)
By Alain Poupart / NHL.com Independent Correspondent
May 22, 2023
SUNRISE, Fla. — Sergei Bobrovsky made 32 saves to put the Florida Panthers on the verge of the Stanley Cup Final with a 1-0 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final at FLA Live Arena on Monday.
It is his first shutout in 64 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He has 38 shutouts in 642 NHL regular-season games.
The Panthers lead the best-of-7 series 3-0. Game 4 is here Wednesday.
Sam Reinhart scored for the Panthers, the second wild card from the East. Matthew Tkachuk had an assist after scoring in overtime in each of the first two games.
Florida captain Aleksander Barkov did not play the final 7:04 of the first period following a hip check from Carolina forward Jack Drury on his final shift. He did not return.
Frederik Andersen, who did not play in Game 2, made 16 saves for the Hurricanes, the No. 1 seed in the Metropolitan Division.
Carolina almost took the lead at 1:04 of the first when Jesper Fast tipped a Brent Burns shot off the post. Bobrovsky then stopped Stefan Noesen on a breakaway with a glove save at 13:34.
Reinhart scored eight seconds into a power play at 10:05 of the second period. After receiving a pass from Tkachuk in the right face-off circle, he quickly turned around and scored with a high shot to the blocker side.
For Reinhart, his winning goal was his 4th career power-play goal in the postseason for the Panthers. He tied Ray Sheppard and Dave Lowry (all w/ 4) for the most in franchise history.
Bobrovsky made a pad save on a Seth Jarvis redirection at 17:03 before he stopped a Martin Necas redirect at 9:42 of the third period.
Tkachuk (47-81—128 in 94 GP) now has 128 points in his first season with the Panthers (regular season and playoffs combined). Only two players in NHL history have had more points in their first season with a franchise: Wayne Gretzky (190 in 1988-89 w/ LAK & 140 in 1979-80 w/ EDM) and Teemu Selanne (138 in 1992-93 w/ WIN).
Sergei Bobrovsky (132 saves) surpassed Johnny Bower (125 saves in 1960 SF vs DET) for the most saves by a goaltender through the first three games of a Conference Final/Semifinals series (since 1955-56).
Source: nhl.com, NHL Stats Resources