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Florida Panthers lose Game 3 of East finals, Rangers Up 2-1

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 (AP) — By most measures, the Florida Panthers dominated the New York Rangers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Florida had 108 shot attempts to New York’s 44, with 37 shots on goal to New York’s 23. The Panthers scored two power play goals, while killing off both of the Rangers’. They stormed back from a two-goal deficit with a pair of goals within two minutes of each other in the third period, sending the game into overtime with all momentum in their hands.
They lost.
New York’s Alex Wennberg scored the game winner 5:35 into the extra session, deflecting the puck past Sergei Bobrovsky as the Rangers survived a flurry of shot attempts from Florida in the final minutes before escaping with a 5-4 victory.
The Panthers dropped their second straight — the first time in the postseason Florida has lost back-to-back games — and New York took a 2-1 lead in the series.
“Anytime you lose a close one like that it’s obviously frustrating,” said Panthers center Sam Reinhart, who had two power play goals Sunday. “You can say we dominate but look at the mistakes that lead to their goals, so there’s areas of improvement for sure.”
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New York took a 3-2 lead in the second period when Alexis Lafreniere sliced through the Florida defense for his second goal of the night; then Barclay Goodrow scored a shorthanded goal less than three minutes later to double the lead.
Florida captain Aleksander Barkov said the Panthers weren’t frustrated, especially with plenty of time to respond in the third.
“We knew we needed to play a lot better than we were out there,” Barkov said.
They did.
Barkov and Gustav Forsling scored less than two minutes apart early in the third to even the game, and Florida pushed, with plenty of late chances to put the game away.
The Panthers were credited with 24 shot attempts over the last 8:10 of the third. None were successful. Only six of those 24 tries were on goal and needed to be saved. Nine were blocked, eight missed and one hit the post.
Igor Shesterkin made 33 stops in all to help the Rangers to their fourth overtime win of the postseason.
“Maybe that’s the thing,” Barkov said, “when you have the puck a lot in the offensive zone, you think ‘OK, we’ve had the puck so much, maybe they’re not going to go on the offense now.’ Then all of a sudden they go. But there’s a reason they’re a good team, so we’ve got to be aware of that.”
Game 4 will be Tuesday in Sunrise, Florida, with the Panthers looking to avoid falling into a 3-1 hole.
Reinhart said the goal will be refocusing mentally and physically. Florida coach Paul Maurice indicated a loss like Sunday’s could be useful motivation.
“Sometimes you want to keep the growl,” Maurice said. “A lot of times in the playoffs, it’s about making sure you keep that energy fully, cut off your losses and you let it go.
“Then there’s times you want to keep it, and eat it, and let it burn for a while and find a different kind of energy source, I think (when) you put up whatever we put up tonight and you don’t come away with a win, you should feel growly.”

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