R2 G5: Leafs 2 Panthers 3 OT

Josh Marano
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Saturday, May 13, 2023

The Florida Panthers needed extra time, but they closed out the series in five games with a 3-2 victory in overtime over the Toronto Maple Leafs.


For the Maple Leafs, they snapped their 19 year first round curse. They followed it up with a very poor effort in round two.


Aaron Ekblad opened the scoring on the powerplay. It was followed up by Carter Verhaeghe to put the Panthers up 2-0 heading into the second period.


In the second Morgan Reilly scored to cut the lead to one.


Later in the second, another controversial play for the Maple Leafs in an elimination game. It appeared Rielly scored again with a nice drive and tuck on Sergei Bobrovsky. The whistle never blew, and the ref never made a signal for the goal. Following a lengthy review, it was deemed the play was dead before the puck crossed the line even though the replays showed it doing so.


With the building seemingly deflated and the team putting forward a lackluster effort it seemed as though all hope was lost.


That was until William Nylander scored his fourth of the post season with just under five minutes left to sending the game to overtime.


In overtime, it was another very soft period from the Maple Leafs with little to no high danger chances.


After a missed opportunity by the third line of Toronto, Radko Gudas held Calle Jarnkrok’s stick while he was diving to make a play on Nick Cousins. He was unable to allowing the Belleville Ontario native to score on his first shot of the game, sending Florida to the Eastern Conference finals.


TOR Scoring: Reilly (4), Nylander (4)


FLA Scoring: Ekblad PP (1), Verhaeghe (5), Cousins OT (2)