Hurricanes and Panthers take commanding 3-0 series leads


The Stanley Cup Playoffs continued on Thursday with two game threes in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoff series. With victories, the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers are both one win away from sweeping their respective series, and advancing to the second round.

Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Thursday after first period goals by defensemen Brent Burns of Barrie, Ontario, and Dmitry Orlov of Novokuznetsk, Russia. For Burns, it was his 23rd National Hockey League postseason goal, which is tied with Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang of Montreal, Quebec for the most postseason goals among all active defensemen. Letang and Burns are tied for 19th all-time among NHL defensemen in postseason goals. Paul Coffey of Weston, Ontario has the most all-time with 59.

The Islanders pulled within one before Sebastian Aho of Rauma, Finland scored the game-winning goal from Andrei Svechnikov of Barnaul, Russia and defenseman Jalen Chatfield of Ypsilanti, Michigan. The Hurricanes can sweep the Islanders on Saturday afternoon. The Hurricanes won game one of the series 3-1 on Saturday and game two of the series 5-3 on Monday.

The Hurricanes/Islanders series winner plays the winner of the New York Rangers/Washington Capitals series. The Rangers currently lead that series two games to none with game three in Washington on Friday.

Florida Panthers

In the Panthers’s 5-3 win over the Lightning on Thursday, five Panthers players had multi-point games. Winger Matthew Tkachuk of Scottsdale, Arizona scored twice, while forward Steven Lorentz of Kitchener, Ontario, and defenseman Brandon Montour of Brantford, Ontario had one goal and one assist each for two points. Meanwhile, the Lightning players with two assists were defenseman Gustav Forsling of Linkoping, Sweden, and Carter Verhaege of Toronto, Ontario. Verhaeghe was the overtime hero in game two of the series, a 3-2 Florida win on Tuesday. The 3-2 scoreline was also the score in game one of the series in a Florida win.

The Panthers/Lightning series winner will play the series winner of the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins lead that series two games to one.


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