Wennberg Scores In Overtime As Rangers Defeat Panthers 5-4, Taking Lead In East Finals

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Igor Shesterkin gave the New York Rangers a fighting chance, while Alex Wennberg became the hero by barely getting his stick on the puck. This crucial moment allowed the Rangers to reclaim home-ice advantage in the Eastern Conference finals.

Wennberg managed to deflect the puck past Sergei Bobrovsky 5:35 into overtime. The Rangers survived a late onslaught from the Florida Panthers, securing a 5-4 victory and taking a 2-1 lead in the series. Ryan Lindgren’s shot from the left point was redirected by Wennberg, a former Panther, who was positioned in front of the net for New York’s second consecutive OT game-winner in the series.

Shesterkin made 33 saves, Alexis Lafrenière scored twice, and Barclay Goodrow added two more goals for the Rangers, continuing his impressive playoff performance. Goodrow has netted six goals in the playoffs, surpassing his total from the regular season. For the Panthers, Sam Reinhart scored two power-play goals, while Aleksander Barkov and Gustav Forsling also found the net.

Bobrovsky made 18 saves for Florida, which lost consecutive games for the first time in these playoffs.

Heading into the third period with a 4-2 lead, the Rangers were 26-0-1 this season in games where they led by two or more goals with 20 minutes remaining. However, Florida pushed hard, with Barkov and Forsling scoring less than two minutes apart to erase the deficit. A potential four-minute power play for the Rangers was nullified after a review showed that Mika Zibanejad was hit by his own stick, not Barkov’s. The Panthers dominated the closing minutes of regulation, attempting 24 shots—all by Florida—over the last 8:10, but none got past Shesterkin.

The teams then went into overtime after a wild start saw four goals in the first 15 minutes. Reinhart opened the scoring, Lafrenière and Goodrow scored 25 seconds apart for a 2-1 Rangers lead, and Reinhart tied it with a backhander.

Lafrenière and Goodrow added goals in the second period, and Florida responded in the third.

Ultimately, the Rangers struck last in overtime and are now just two wins away from their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final since 2014.