Lightning up 3-0 in series, Panthers at brink of elimination

May 23, 2022 GMT
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta (44) keeps the puck out of the goal after a shot by the Florida Panthers got past goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) during the third period in Game 3 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series Sunday, May 22, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta (44) keeps the puck out of the goal after a shot by the Florida Panthers got past goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) during the third period in Game 3 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series Sunday, May 22, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta (44) keeps the puck out of the goal after a shot by the Florida Panthers got past goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) during the third period in Game 3 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series Sunday, May 22, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
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Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta (44) keeps the puck out of the goal after a shot by the Florida Panthers got past goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) during the third period in Game 3 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series Sunday, May 22, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
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Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta (44) keeps the puck out of the goal after a shot by the Florida Panthers got past goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) during the third period in Game 3 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series Sunday, May 22, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Steven Stamkos scored two goals and Nikita Kucherov had a goal and three assists and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Florida Panthers 5-1 to move to the brink of another trip to the Eastern Conference final on Sunday.

Corey Perry and Erik Cernak also scored, and reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy had 34 saves to help the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions take a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Panthers, who had the NHL’s best record during the regular season.

Game 4 is Monday night at Amalie Arena, where the Lightning have won three of four games this postseason. One more victory will send them to the Eastern Conference final for the sixth time in eight years.

Sam Reinhart scored Florida’s lone goal. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 31 of 34 shots.

RANGERS 3, HURRICANES 1

NEW YORK (AP) — Mika Zibanejad had a goal and an assist, Igor Shesterkin stopped 43 shots, and New York beat Carolina in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series.

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Chris Kreider and Tyler Motte also scored as the Rangers cut their deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-seven matchup. Game 4 is Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

Nino Niederreiter scored for Carolina, and Antti Raanta finished with 30 saves. The Hurricanes dropped to 0-4 on the road this postseason to go along with their 6-0 home mark.

Shesterkin had 17 saves in the first period, 17 in the second and nine in the third.

OILERS 4, FLAMES 1

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Evander Kane had three goals in a six-minute span in the second period, Leon Draisaitl set an NHL record with four assists in one playoff period and Edmonton defeated Calgary to take a 2-1 lead in their second-round playoff series.

Zach Hyman had the other goal for Edmonton and Connor McDavid had three more assists. Mike Smith, who was briefly replaced by Mikko Koskinen in the third period after getting run over by Milan Lucic, made 31 saves. Koskinen wasn’t forced to make a stop in just over four minutes.

Oliver Kylington scored the lone goal for Calgary. Jacob Markstrom allowed four goals on 34 shots before getting pulled for the Flames, who have been outscored 8-1 since taking a 3-1 lead in the second period of Game 2. Dan Vladar made seven saves in relief.

McDavid has 23 points (six goals, 17 assists) through 10 postseason games. The only players in NHL playoff history with more points in the same span are Wayne Gretzky (29 in 1983; 25 in 1985), Mario Lemieux (25 in 1992) and Rick Middleton (23 in 1983).

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