SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Matthew Tkachuk scored twice, Eetu Luostarinen put Florida ahead to stay with 5:38 left in what was a crazed third period, and the Panthers forced a Game 7 in their Eastern Conference first-round series by beating the Boston Bruins 7-5 on Friday night.
Aleksander Barkov, Brandon Montour, Zac Dalpe and Sam Reinhart also scored for the Panthers, who got 30 saves from Sergei Bobrovsky. Reinhart closed it out with an empty-netter with 28 seconds left — the seventh and final goal of the third period, four of those scores by Florida.
Tyler Bertuzzi and David Pastrnak each scored twice for Boston, which got four assists from Brad Marchand and 26 saves from Linus Ullmark. Jake DeBrusk also scored for the Bruins.
The team with the best regular-season record in NHL history took one-goal leads on two separate occasions in the third period — and couldn’t hold either one of them. Now, they face a Game 7 on Sunday just to get into the second round against a Florida team that has already staved off elimination twice.
AVALANCHE 4, KRAKEN 1
SEATTLE (AP) — Mikko Rantanen and Artturi Lehkonen led the Avalanche to the win, forcing a Game 7 in their first-round playoff series.
Lehkonen scored twice, including an empty-net goal in the closing seconds. Rantanen scored in the final seconds of the first period, tying it at 1 after Seattle posted the first goal yet again.
The Avalanche dominated the final two periods, flashing some of what made them Stanley Cup champs a season ago.
Erik Johnson scored his first of the playoffs on a deflected shot 7:21 into the second. Lehkonen redirected Devon Toews’ slap pass at 16:57 to give Colorado a 3-1 lead. Toews had two assists, as did Cale Makar after being suspended for Game 5.
Vince Dunn became the 14th different player to score a goal for Seattle this postseason when he slipped a slap shot past Colorado goalie Alexandar Georgiev at 15:48 of the first.
STARS 4, WILD 1
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Roope Hintz got Dallas going early, Jake Oettinger stonewalled his home-state team again and the Stars eliminated the Wild in Game 6 of their first-round playoff series.
Wyatt Johnston and Mason Marchment scored in the second period when a burst by the Stars — smelling the Western Conference semifinals and swooping in for the finish — outshot the Wild 18-5. Max Domi closed it out with an empty-netter in the final minute.
Oettinger made 22 saves for the Stars, who advanced to face the Colorado-Seattle winner. The Kraken took a 3-2 series lead on the Avalanche into their Game 6 on Friday.
Oettinger was bidding for his second shutout of the series before Freddy Gaudreau scored for the Wild with 7:07 left.
Hintz’s first-period goal was his fifth of the series.
HURRICANES 2, ISLANDERS 1, OT
NEW YORK (AP) — Paul Stastny scored 6 minutes into overtime, and the Hurricanes beat the Islanders in Game 6 to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Sebastian Aho tied it midway through the third period for the Hurricanes. Frederik Andersen stopped 33 shots while making his first start of the postseason.
Cal Clutterbuck scored for the Islanders and Ilya Sorokin finished with 39 saves. New York was eliminated in the first round for the first time in their last five trips to the postseason.
The Hurricanes advanced to face the winner of the series between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils. The Devils lead 3-2 heading into Game 6 on Saturday night.
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