NHL Conference Finals now a best of three


The two National Hockey League semifinal series of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs have been completely thrilling, evenly balanced and extraordinary thrilling so far. As a result, the Florida Panthers and New York Rangers are tied at two games apiece in the Eastern Conference Final, and the Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stats are tied at two games apiece in the Western Conference Final. Now the two series that began as best of seven, are now a best of three.

Eastern Conference Final

Both the Florida Panthers and New York Rangers have won one game each in both arenas. The Florida Panthers won games one and four, while the Rangers won games two and three. In the fourth game of the series, Sam Reinhart of West Vancouver, British Columbia scored the game-winner on the power-play in overtime from Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov of Tampere, Finland and defenseman Brandon Montour of Brantford, Ontario. It did not take long for the Panthers to execute with the man advantage. Reinhart scored only 13 seconds after Rangers forward Blake Wheeler took a hooking penalty. This was Wheeler’s first NHL game since February 15, as he missed three months with a right leg injury.

It was the third straight overtime winner in the series. The Rangers won 2-1 in game two and 5-4 in game three. The Rangers heroes were Barclay Goodrow of Toronto, Ontario in game two, and Alexander Wennberg of Stockholm, Sweden in game three.

Western Conference Final

This series has been all about momentum. The Stars got it after game three where they beat the Oilers 4-3  on Monday. The Oilers got it back with a 5-2 win on Wednesday. In the last two games in Edmonton, the teams that had a 2-0 first period lead ended up losing. In game three the Oilers overpowered the Stars. The biggest difference came down to the number of hits. Edmonton had 47, including 12 from defenseman Darnell Nurse of Hamilton, Ontario. Meanwhile, Mattias Janmark of Stockholm, Sweden had the most memorable goal of the game. His game-winning goal with five minutes and 29 seconds left in the second period was shorthanded.



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