Panthers edge Rangers, get within a game of Stanley Cup Final

NEW YORK — Anton Lundell scored the tiebreaking goal with 9:38 remaining and the Florida Panthers rallied for a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Thursday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final.

The Panthers lead the series 3-2 and can clinch their second straight trip to the Stanley Cup Final on home ice Saturday. If the Rangers can even the series, they will force a Game 7 Monday on home ice.

After Florida survived a tripping penalty to defenseman Niko Mikkola, it continued to maintain pressure in the offensive zone and eventually cashed in.

Following a New York giveaway deep in its offensive zone, Eetu Luostarinen gained possession and waited for Lundell to cross into the Florida offensive zone.

Lundell got to the middle of the right circle and, as Vladimir Tarasenko went to the net, ripped a shot that sailed by Igor Shesterkin before New York defenseman Braden Schneider could get in position for the shot block.

Chris Kreider scored a shorthanded goal 2:04 into the second and Gustav Forsling netted the tying goal with 11:39 remaining in the period.

Sam Bennett clinched Florida’s sixth road win of the postseason by scoring into an empty net with 1:52 left.

Bennett’s goal became the game-winner when Alexis Lafreniere redirected a shot by Mika Zibanejad with 50 seconds left after Shesterkin was pulled for the extra attacker.

Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 25 saves.

Shesterkin stopped 34 shots and kept the game at 2-1 with a point-blank glove save on Sam Reinhart with 5:49 left.

During a tripping penalty to K’Andre Miller, the Rangers opened the scoring on a miscue by Matthew Tkachuk near the blue line in Florida’s offensive zone.

Kreider pried the puck from Tkachuk and fed Zibanejad just over the blue line in the New York offensive zone. Kreider skated by Reinhart, got the return feed, moved to the crease on a partial breakaway and lifted a backhander over Bobrovsky’s left pad for his eighth goal of the playoffs.

The Panthers evened it by catching the Rangers flat-footed deep in the defensive zone. Bennett faked a shot and then passed to Forsling, who snuck past Lafreniere and Ryan Lindgren. Forsling finished the play by getting near the net and lifting a backhander over Shesterkin.

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