Two wins away from the Stanley Cup Final thanks to these two Panthers

Matthew Tkachuk #19, Florida Panthers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Matthew Tkachuk #19, Florida Panthers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Florida Panthers find themselves two wins away from reaching the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1996. They have accomplished so much already on this postseason run, but there are two players in particular who are leading the charge on the ice.

The Florida Panthers are being led by the great play of Matthew Tkachuk and Sergei Bobrovsky.

Matthew Tkachuk has scored the overtime game winning goal in both of the first two games of the Eastern Conference Final. Additionally, Sergei Bobrovsky has allowed just three goals on 103 shots on goal in the conference final. The two Panthers are each having a postseason to remember, and play a big part in getting their team this far.

Bobrovsky has not been great since joining the Panthers, but he is rewriting that narrative this postseason. The Panthers goaltender has posted a .931 save percentage through the Stanley Cup playoffs thus far. That is one heck of showcase from Bobrovsky, especially considering when the postseason started he was not even the starter for the team.

As for the play in front of Bobrovsky, it seems like the Panthers have really embraced having a player like Tkachuk. After the Tkachuk trade to Florida, there was a great deal of optimism for both the Flames and Panthers, but for a while this season it looked like both teams were set to miss the playoffs and the trade was destined to be looked back on as a failure. Then the Panthers sneaked into the playoffs in the final days of the regular season, and the team has been on one heck of a run through the first two rounds.

The Panthers are tough to play against in the playoffs. They have an edge to them they did not have last year when they were swept by the Tampa Bay Lightning, and that starts with Tkachuk. He has seven goals and 11 assists in 14 games this postseason which leads the team.

No matter their matchup or the situation they have been in, the Panthers have found a way to get things done. It did not matter when they were playing the best regular season team in NHL history in round one, even when they fell behind three games to one. It did not matter when they began round two against the Toronto Maple Leafs. They found a way to beat the skilled offensive team, and so far they have continued to find a way to win against a team in Carolina that has also been on a very good run through the first two rounds.

Now the Panthers head back to Florida up 2-0 once again. This is a familiar situation to where they were last round against Toronto. They have been so evenly matched against the Hurricanes throughout the first two games, the winner has been a toss up in overtime both times now.

Heading into game three, no team has had a two goal lead up to this point. Now would be a great time for the Panthers to get a big statement win in front of their home crowd.