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In a gripping contest that epitomized the tension and drama of playoff hockey, the Florida Panthers edged out the New York Rangers 3-2 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Anton Lundell emerged as the hero, breaking a tie with just 9:38 remaining to secure a crucial victory for the Panthers. This win puts Florida on the brink of their second consecutive Stanley Cup Final appearance and the third in franchise history.

The series has been defined by its razor thin margins, with the last four games decided by just one goal. Unlike the three preceding matchups, Game 5 did not extend into overtime, but it was no less dramatic. Gustav Forsling and Sam Bennett also found the back of the net for the Panthers, while goalie Sergei Bobrovsky delivered a stellar performance with 25 saves, fortifying Florida’s defense.

For the New York Rangers, Chris Kreider and Alexis Lafreniere provided the offensive spark, each netting a goal. Despite a formidable effort from goalie Igor Shesterkin, who stopped 34 shots, the Rangers fell short. Shesterkin’s performance underscored his consistency throughout the series, but it wasn’t enough to halt Florida’s momentum.

For the Rangers Mika Zibanejad contributed with two assists, but the President’s Trophy winners now face a daunting task: winning two consecutive games to make their first final appearance since 2014. As the Rangers go on the road for Game 6 Saturday night in Sunrise, Florida.

As the Panthers prepare for Game 6, their strategy remains clear: maintain focus, draw on the positives from last season’s deep playoff run, and continue to find ways to win in these tightly contested battles. With the series tipping in their favor, Florida is poised for another shot at hockey’s ultimate prize, a testament to their resilience and determination throughout the postseason.

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