Watch: Tkachuk sends Panthers to Cup Final with last-second goal originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Matthew Tkachuk has done it again.
The Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes appeared headed for overtime once again in Game 4 of the 2023 Eastern Conference Final on Wednesday night.
But with just seconds remaining in the third period at FLA Live Arena, Tkachuk received the puck along the blue line, skated to the front of the net and fired a shot past Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen.
Following a review for potential goalie interference, the goal stood to give the Panthers a late 4-3 edge. Just over four seconds of game action later, Florida officially secured a four-game sweep of the Hurricanes to book the franchise’s second ever trip to the Stanley Cup Final.
Tkachuk’s Game 4 heroics added to what’s been an unbelievable postseason run for the 25-year-old. He scored the deciding goal in three of Florida’s four wins over Carolina, including the Game 1 four-overtime triumph and the Game 2 OT victory.
Tkachuk, who Florida acquired from the Calgary Flames last offseason, now has nine goals and 12 assists over 16 playoff games as the Panthers have taken down three of the East’s top four teams from the regular season in the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Hurricanes.
If Tkachuk stays hot, the Panthers will have a great shot at capturing their first Stanley Cup. Florida’s only other Cup Final appearance came in 1996 when they were swept by the Colorado Avalanche.
This time around, the Panthers will meet either the Vegas Golden Knights or Dallas Stars. Vegas currently holds a commanding 3-0 series lead over Dallas in the Western Conference Final.