Berliner Tageblatt - Wennberg scores OT winner as Rangers hold off Panthers

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Wennberg scores OT winner as Rangers hold off Panthers
Wennberg scores OT winner as Rangers hold off Panthers / Photo: © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP

Wennberg scores OT winner as Rangers hold off Panthers

New York's Alex Wennberg scored at 5:35 of overtime as the Rangers pulled out a 5-4 win over the Florida Panthers to take a 2-1 lead in their NHL Eastern Conference final on Sunday.

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Wennberg grabbed his first goal of the playoffs when Ryan Lindgren's shot deflected off his stick to settle matters in game three of the best-of-seven series that sends the winner to the Stanley Cup Final.

"Obviously it just worked out perfectly," said Wennberg, who scored just his second goal in 32 games since he was acquired by the Rangers from Seattle in March.

"Every now and then you go by instinct. It's just a great shot by Lindy I think was coming in -- at the end of the day you've got to find a way to score."

Alexis Lafreniere and Barclay Goodrow -- the overtime hero in game two -- scored two goals apiece and Igor Shesterkin made 34 saves for the Rangers, who were up 4-2 through two periods only for the Panthers to score twice in the third.

Sam Reinhart scored twice and Aleksander Barkov had a goal and an assist for the Panthers, who got 18 saves from Sergei Bobrovsky.

Reinhart gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 2:50 of the first period, cutting along the goal line and backhanding a shot under Shesterkin's arm.

Lafreniere tied it 1-1 at 7:17, eluding Vladimir Tarasenko and firing a shot over Bobrovsky's glove.

Goodrow scored 25 seconds later on a redirection of Braden Schneider's shot, but Reinhart responded with his second powerplay goal of the first period to tie it up at 2-2.

Lafreniere put the Rangers back in front at 15:23 of the second and Goodrow made it 4-2 on a short-handed goal off a pass from Vincent Trocheck.

But Barkov and Gustav Forsling scored for Florida in the third to force overtime.

After two overtime defeats in a row, the Panthers will try to even the series when they host game four on Tuesday.