We now know the two teams that will play against each other in the 2023 Eastern Conference Final. After the Carolina Hurricanes eliminated the New Jersey Devils after five games on Thursday, the Florida Panthers eliminated the Toronto Maple Leafs after five games on Friday. This will be the first time ever that the Hurricanes and Panthers will play against each other in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
On Friday night at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, the Panthers defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2 in game five of the Eastern Conference semifinal series. With the win, the Panthers won the best out of seven series four games to one.
Florida’s Stanley Cup Playoff win on Friday was in overtime. Nick Cousins of Belleville, Ontario scored at 15:32 of the first overtime period from defenseman Radko Gudas of Kladno, Czechia. Florida’s two other goals were scored by Canadians Aaron Ekblad of Windsor, Ontario and Carter Verhaeghe of Toronto, Ontario. Ekblad and Verhaeghe both had multi-point games. They each had one goal and one assist for two points.
First Career Stanley Cup Playoff Overtime Winner
For Cousins, it was his first Stanley Cup Playoff overtime winner. It was also his first career postseason game-winning goal in 42 postseason games. Of Cousins’s 42 playoff games, 17 were with the Vegas Golden Knights, 12 were with the Panthers, seven were with the Nashville Predators and six with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Cousin’s 2023 Playoff Statistics
In 12 postseason games, Cousins had two goals and four assists for six points. He was a +1 with two penalty minutes, one game-winning goal, 13 shots on goal, six faceoff wins, six blocked shots, 32 hits, 11 takeaways, and six giveaways.
Western Conference Playoffs
There are two second round game sixes over the next 48 hours. On Saturday, the Seattle Kraken play the Dallas Stars with the Stars leading the series three games to two. On Sunday, the Vegas Golden Knights play the Edmonton Oilers, with the Golden Knights leading their series three games to two.