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Wake With Elias- May 14, 2022: Panthers Clinch in OT, Rangers and Stars force Game Sevens

The Florida Panthers are in the Second Round for the first time since 1996, while the New York Rangers and Dallas Stars survive elimination threats in Game Six.

Florida Panthers v Washington Capitals - Game Six Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

A pretty thrilling night of hockey last night in the NHL Playoffs, especially considering some of the less-than exciting games we’ve seen thus far. We’ll start in Pittsburgh, where the Penguins hoped to clinch against the Rangers, but would have to do it without Sidney Crosby. Crosby suffered a concussion on a hit from Jacob Trouba in Game Five. It looked, for a while at least, like they wouldn’t need him as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead. The Rangers clawed their way back into this one as Mika Zibanejad scored twice in 1:16 before setting up Chris Kreider, giving New York a 3-2 lead.

Evgeni Malkin scored to tie it back up, but Kreider’s second of the game would be the winner, setting up a Game Seven Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.

From there it’s on to Washington, as the Capitals looked to force a Seventh Game against the Florida Panthers, who haven’t won a playoff series since 1996. After trading second period goals, the Caps took the lead on a Nicklas Backstrom goal, but Claude Giroux and Aleksander Barkov gave Florida a lead that looked like it would hold until TJ Oshie’s sixth of the playoffs with 1:03 remaining in regulation sent it to OT.

The extra period didn’t last three minutes though, as Carter Verhaeghe was the hero, sending the Panthers on to the next round. Verhaeghe now has 6G and 6A, tying him with Connor McDavid for the playoff scoring lead.

Down in Dallas, the Calgary Flames hoped to punch their ticket to the second round, and a date with either the Edmonton Oilers or Calgary Flames, but a solid night from Jake Oettinger and a game winner from Miro Heiskanen gave the Stars a 4-2 win as they head back to Calgary for a winner takes all Game Seven Sunday. Chris Tanev suffered an injury in this one and did not return, no word yet on if he’s good to go for Sunday.

Three Game Sevens are on tap for tonight. Boston is in Carolina to take on the Hurricanes, the Leafs are hoping to exorcize some playoff demons as they host the Tampa Bay Lightning in Toronto, and the Kings are in Edmonton looking to pull off another upset over the Oilers. Make sure and check out our open thread that will be live at 1:00pm PST.

The 2022 IIHF World Championships got underway in Helsinki, Finland yesterday. Pierre-Luc Dubois scored twice as Canada hung on to defeat Germany 5-3 in their tournament opener yesterday. Next up is Italy, and that one can be seen on TSN at 2:20am PST if you’re still awake for some reason.