The Florida Panthers are officially on a tear as they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 2 of their second round series to take both games on the road.
The Panthers, the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference, have won five straight Stanley Cup Playoffs games, which includes Games 5, 6 and 7 of their first round upset of the Boston Bruins. Four of those five games came on the road.
And this win came on three unanswered goals by the Panthers, who were down early in the first period as the Maple Leafs looked to even up the series on their home ice.
It was Alexander Kerfoot scoring just minutes into the game for Toronto, which was his second goal of the playoffs. Then, Ryan O’Reilly had a power play chance find the back of the net, quickly making a hole for the Panthers to dig out of.
As we’ve seen so far in the playoffs, Florida can climb out of those holes.
It started with Anton Lundell’s first goal of the playoffs, who Sam Reinhart found in front of the net on a cunning back-handed pass from behind the net. Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov didn’t see it coming.
When the second period rolled around, only the Panthers found the puck in the net. Aleksander Barkov, who didn’t make much noise in the first round, scored just 19 seconds into the period as Anthony Duclair dropped the puck back for him and he picked the perfect low and right spot past Samsonov.
With the game tied, Florida wasted no time taking their first lead of the game less than one minute later.
Eetu Luostarinen intercepted a pass from the Leafs as they tried to break the puck out of their zone and quickly shot it over to Matthew Tkachuk. The Panthers were making a chance at the time, so players began to join the rush back in the offensive end, which included Lundell and Gustav Forsling.
After Lundell gave the puck back to Tkachuk, the Panthers’ alternate captain sent a pass across the ice to Forsling, who beat Samsonov.
From there, it was all defense and some more solid goaltending from Sergei Bobrovsky. He finished the night with 34 saves on 36 shots on goal, collecting himself another win.
As you’d expect, Leafs fans were not pleased to see their team down two games to none after they got out of the first round for the first time in 19 years after their series victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The series moves to Sunrise, Fla. now where Game 3 puck drop will come on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET.