The Florida Panthers are making a statement, a big statement, in the 2023 NHL playoffs. Florida is now two wins away from a place in the Stanley Cup finals after their 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in game 2 of the ECF. Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk scored the game winner in the third period to give the Panthers the edge in the series.
Florida Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk comes through for the second game in a row
Carolina’s Jalen Chatfield playing big role
Hurricanes defenseman Jalen Chatfield has flourished in the bottom pairing defensive role.He has played a solid role in the Canes success so far. Not known as an elite defenseman, Chatfield has been good in his limited minutes, making the most of those minutes. In the 2023 NHL playoffs, he has one goal and two assists for three points in 12 playoff games, with that goal coming in last night’s 2-1 loss. Chatfield has 14 penalty minutes, 12 blocks, and 25 hits while playing an average of 15 minutes per night. He has four hits and two blocks in an average TOI of 23 minutes against the Florida Panthers.
Florida stars coming up big in playoffs
Tkachuk has been the story in the playoffs. he has been huge in the first two ECF games, scoring the game winner in both games. Florida forward Aleksander Barkov has been good also, scoring his seventh goal in last night’s game, bringing his offensive total to 12 points in 14 games. Carter Verhaeghe has 14 points in 14 games. Defenseman Brandon Montour has nine points in 14 games, while goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is a Conn Smythe candidate. Florida has a deep roster that has a forward group contributing offensively on any night. They are getting contributions from everyone at the biggest time of the year.
Carolina needs answers
The Hurricanes lost both games at home in the ECF. They now head to Florida for two, looking for answers on how to solve this Panthers team. Both games have been low scoring but entertaining. The stars for the Canes have yet to show up in this series as the Florida Panthers defense has been smothering, giving the Hurricanes no room to operate. Carolina head coach Rod Brind’Amour has some adjusting to do before game 3 in Florida. Already in a hole, Carolina cannot afford to lose game 3 or this series could be over before it starts. Does this include roster shuffling or staying the course and adjusting your system?