The 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs started the weekend with a pair of entertaining Game 5s, as the Panthers completed their gentleman’s sweep of the Maple Leafs on the road, and the Golden Knights secured a 3-2 series lead against the Oilers at home.
Florida punched its ticket to the Eastern Conference Final with a 3-2 overtime win over the Maple Leafs in Game 5. Toronto came back from a two-goal deficit to force overtime, but Florida put an end to the rally with Nick Cousins scoring on a wrist shot at 15:32 of the extra period. The Panthers will play the Hurricanes next round with a Stanley Cup Final berth on the line.
The Golden Knights grabbed a 3-2 series lead over the Oilers with a 4-3 win at Las Vegas. Edmonton got off to a 2-1 lead over Vegas in the first period, but the Golden Knights exploded for three goals in the second period to gain a lead they would never relinquish. The series will shift to Edmonton for Game 6 that is slated for Sunday.
Here’s a look at all the scores for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Panthers survive Leafs’ late push to win series, advance to ECF
The Panthers are headed to their first Eastern Conference Final since 1996 after eliminating the Maple Leafs in five games. Florida finished off Toronto on the road, winning Game 5 in overtime by a score of 3-2 after surviving a late push from the Leafs.
Florida raced to a two-goal lead in the first period, but was held scoreless for the rest of regulation as Toronto tied the game late in the third period. However, Nick Cousins stopped the Leafs’ rally dead in its tracks by scoring the overtime game-winner on a wrist shot with less than five minutes to go in the extra period.
Aaron Ekblad opened the game’s scoring a mere 3:31 into the first period, capitalizing on an early power play. With less than four minutes left in the opening frame, Ekblad added his second point of the contest by assisting on a Carter Verhaeghe goal that made it 2-0 Florida.
2-0 CATS! pic.twitter.com/Qf12B4fahU
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) May 12, 2023
Toronto cut Florida’s deficit back to one at 7:50 of the second period, when Morgan Rielly fired a wrist shot past Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. The Maple Leafs then tied the game at 15:33 of the third period with William Nylander scoring his second goal in as many games, but the comeback effort ultimately proved to be futile in overtime.
The Panthers will now meet the Hurricanes, who dispatched the Devils in five games last round.
Golden Knights ride hot second period to series lead over Oilers
The Golden Knights used a second-period surge to beat the Oilers 4-3 and go up 3-2 in their second-round playoff series. Down 2-1 after the first period, Vegas outscored Edmonton 3-0 in the second with Mark Stone, Reilly Smith and Nicolas Hague tallying a goal apiece. Connor McDavid brought the Oilers to within one after scoring a goal at 2:40 of the third period, but the Knights held their lead until the final buzzer.
Stoney started the comeback 🙌 pic.twitter.com/6za1WiuBAI
— z – Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) May 13, 2023
Jack Eichel, who assisted on Stone and Hague’s goals, scored Vegas’ first goal of the game at 3:52 of the first period.
This series has shifted like a pendulum, as Vegas’ win means that neither team has collected back-to-back victories this series. However, this was the first game decided by less than two goals.
Edmonton’s Darnell Nurse and Vegas’ Alex Pietrangelo both missed Game 5 after receiving one-game suspensions for incidents that took place in Game 4. Both are expected to return for Game 6.
With Vegas leading 3-2, the series shifts to Edmonton — where the Oilers have gone 3-2 this postseason — for Game 6 on Sunday. A Golden Knights’ win would send them to their first Western Conference Final since 2021.