New York Rangers win Game Three in Overtime to Take Series Lead Over the Panthers

May 26, 2024; Sunrise, Florida, USA; New York Rangers celebrate an overtime goal by center Alex Wennberg (91) to defeat the Florida Panthers in game three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amerant Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
May 26, 2024; Sunrise, Florida, USA; New York Rangers celebrate an overtime goal by center Alex Wennberg (91) to defeat the Florida Panthers in game three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amerant Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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Your New York Rangers now lead the Eastern Conference Finals two games to one after an overtime win against the Florida Panthers in overtime saw the Blueshirts take a back-and-forth affair with the game's final goal. New York managed to steal the victory on the back of an incredible netminding performance from Igor Shesterkin, who bailed the Rangers out in a poorly played third period that allowed the game to get to the extra frames. 

It started poorly for the Rangers, as the dreaded Panther powerplay would make itself felt. A power move to the front of the net from the corner by Sam Reinhart would allow the Panthers star forward to walk in and get a free look at Igor Shesterkin. He solved the Russian netminder and put the puck home to give the Panthers a lead on the night. 

New York would get an answer from Alexis Lafreniere as he walked in all alone on Sergei Bobrovsky. Lafreniere was able to shift the puck to his backhand and roof it over Bobrovsky's shoulder. Twenty-five seconds later, the puck was back in front of the net when the Rangers' fourth line was on the ice. Barclay Goodrow snapped the puck past Bobrovsky, giving the Rangers their first lead of the night. 

Before the end of the first period, the Panthers would get the puck past Igor again. Once again, it would be the Panther powerplay biting into the Rangers lead. From almost the same spot, Reinhart was able to shift the puck to his backhand and fire it across Shesterkin to the far post, and it hit the netting just inside the post as the tight angle shot allowed the Panthers to break back into the Rangers lead. 

In the second period, the Rangers would see their lead restored. Alexis Lafreniere and Barclay Goodrow would both tally their second of the game. Lafreniere would find himself with a beautiful solo move to get around a defender in the high slot before walking in and picking the corner on Bobrovsky for an absolute beauty of a goal from the Quebecois winger. Starting to flash that sparkling talent, the Rangers continued when Goodrow scored shorthanded on two separate minors given to Trouba. 

In the third, the Rangers buckled and bent. Aleksander Barkov and Gustav Forsling would be the ones who would crack the game open as Barkov redirected a puck home out in front of the net. Forsling beat Shesterkin cleanly when he walked in from the blue line; the defensive defenseman would find twine to tie the game at four. New York would bend and bend, but Igor Shesterkin was determined not to allow the Blueshirts to break, so we headed to overtime. 

In the extra frame, Alex Wennberg deflected an Erik Gustafsson shot from the point home to win game three and put the Rangers back in control of the series. Home ice has been regained, and a dominant position exists to move forward. There's not much else the Rangers could ask for from this game tonight. New York will play in game four, trying to give themselves a shot at winning the series when they return to MSG.