Florida clinches first-round series against Tampa Bay

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves, Aleksander Barkov and Carter Verhaege each had two goals and an assist, and the Florida Panthers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-1 in Game 5 on Monday night to clinch their first-round series and advance in the NHL playoffs.

Niko Mikkola had a goal and an assist, Evan Rodrigues also scored and Matthew Tkachuk had two assists for the Panthers, who won a playoff series against Tampa Bay for the first time in franchise history and clinched a postseason series at home for only the fourth time. Florida bested Boston and Philadelphia on home ice in the first two rounds of the 1996 playoffs, then eliminated Carolina at home in last season’s Eastern Conference finals en route to their second Stanley Cup Final appearance.

Victor Hedman scored for the Lightning, which was eliminated in the first round for the second straight year after reaching the Final three straight years. Andrei Vasilevsky stopped 33 shots.


LAS VEGAS (AP) — Wyatt Johnston scored his third goal in two games, and Dallas beat the defending champion Las Vegas to even their first-round NHL playoffs series.

Evgenii Dadonov, Ty Dellandrea and Roope Hintz also scored for the Stars, and Jake Oettinger made 33 saves.

Michael Amadio and Jack Eichel had goals for the Golden Knights, and Logan Thompson stopped 28 shots. Eichel has scored goals in three consecutive games and has six points in this series.

Game 5 is Wednesday night in Dallas. The road team has won every game.

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