Top-seeded Florida Panthers’ season ends after sweep by Tampa Bay Lightning

The Florida Panthers have been swept out of the NHL postseason, falling 2-0 to host Tampa Bay in Game 4 of their second-round Stanley Cup playoff sequence on Monday.

Florida was the NHL’s top-seeded crew getting into the playoffs, having earned the franchise’s first Presidents’ Trophy title on the power of a 122-point marketing campaign. The Panthers at the moment are the primary Presidents’ Trophy winners to be swept from a playoff sequence because the 2019 Lightning have been ousted by Columbus within the first spherical.

Game 4 was a scoreless affair a lot of the manner, till Patrick Maroon tipped some extent blast from Zach Bogosian previous Sergei Bobrovsky within the third interval. Ondrej Palat added an empty-netter within the closing minute to seal Florida’s destiny.

The Panthers constructed their historic common season on offensive success, pacing the NHL in common scoring (4.11 objectives per recreation) because of enviable depth upfront. They weren’t shut out as soon as by way of 82 video games. In truth, the final time Florida didn’t rating a objective in a recreation previous to Monday was Game 6 of their first-round sequence in opposition to Tampa final spring.

But all that firepower failed Florida when it mattered most.

The Panthers stumbled their well beyond Washington within the first spherical, successful in six video games however requiring a number of come-from-behind performances to take action. That effort would not suffice in opposition to reigning two-time Cup champion Tampa Bay.

Florida did not rating multiple objective in any of the 4 video games in opposition to Tampa Bay. All the Panthers’ prime performers repeatedly got here up empty. Jonathan Huberdeau was one among 4 30-plus objective scorers within the Panthers’ common season and led the crew with 115 factors. He added solely two assists in opposition to Tampa. Aleksander Barkov and Claude Giroux tallied one help every. Sam Reinhart recorded a single objective, and it was the one one Florida scored on the ability play all the postseason.

Andrei Vasilevskiy was spectacular for Tampa Bay in web, giving up solely three objectives in 4 video games.

Bobrovsky repeatedly gave the Panthers an opportunity to recuperate although, not solely in Game 4 however all through the sequence. He registered a stable .908 SV% over the primary three video games and turned apart 23 pictures making an attempt to stave off elimination on Monday.

Florida additionally caught a pair breaks with two Tampa objectives being disallowed within the second interval.

The first evaluate took over 10 minutes, because the NHL’s scenario room in Toronto tried to discern whether or not the puck had hit mesh previous to Lightning ahead Alex Killorn‘s ice-breaking objective. Finally, a ruling got here down that the puck had exited the floor of play. No objective for Tampa Bay.

The second evaluate occurred simply minutes later. Nikita Kucherov snapped a wrister previous Bobrovsky, however Florida challenged for a hand cross by Anthony Cirelli off the draw. It took lower than two minutes for the decision — no objective.

The Panthers could not muster any objectives of their very own, and now they may face an extended spring and summer season forward to look at what despatched their postseason off the rails.

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