The Florida Panthers have successfully secured their place in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after a tense battle in the final stretch of the season. Their recent run of good form, combined with losses for the Islanders, Penguins, and Sabres, has propelled the Panthers into the postseason. The team’s success can largely be attributed to their new summer acquisition, Matthew Tkachuk, who was traded from the Calgary Flames.
Tkachuk has had an outstanding season, playing in 78 games and racking up 40 goals and 68 assists for a total of 108 points. He has become the first American player to record back-to-back 100-plus point seasons since the early 1990s. Other key offensive contributors for the Panthers include Aleksander Barkov (77 points), Brandon Montour (73 points), and Carter Verhaeghe (73 points).
In goal, the Panthers have utilized three different netminders, with Alex Lyon’s recent success making a significant impact. Called up from the AHL, Lyon has started in 13 games this season, securing 9 wins with a 2.80 GAA and a .916 SV%. Sergei Bobrovsky has played the majority of games, starting 49 and winning 24 with a 3.07 GAA and a .901 SV%. Spencer Knight has also seen time in net, starting 19 games, winning 9, and posting a 3.18 GAA and a .901 SV%.
As the Panthers clinch a wild card spot, they now prepare to face either the Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, or New Jersey Devils in the playoffs.