Alexander Wennberg scores game-winning goal in overtime, gives Rangers 5-4 win in Game 3 over Panthers

Barclay Goodrow was the New York Rangers’ hero in Game 2 after his goal in overtime gave the team a 2-1 victory.

On Sunday, it was Alexander Wennberg who provided the magic in overtime.

Wennberg tipped in the game-winner at 5:35 in overtime to give the Rangers a 5-4 victory over the Florida Panthers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final at Amerant Bank Arena. The Rangers now lead the series 2-1.

Goodrow also scored two goals along with Alexis Lafrenière. Vincent Trocheck chipped in two assists.

Sam Reinhart recorded two power-play goals for the Panthers in a losing effort.

Igor Shesterkin allowed four goals on 38 shots, but he was tremendous late in the third period and overtime. He did not allow during the final 18 minutes of the game.

After solid performances in the series’ first two games, Sergei Bobrovsky and the Panthers’ defense were substandard in Game 3. Bobrovsky allowed four goals, tied for the most he has allowed this postseason.

Teams that win Game 3 when a best-of-seven series is tied 1-1 in a conference final/semifinal have a record of 59-18. The Rangers improve to 4-0 in overtime games this postseason.

Florida’s defense allowed the Blueshirts to have several goal opportunities in the zone, including a short-handed goal by Goodrow during the second period.

After two low-scoring games to begin the Eastern Conference Final, Game 3 was much more high-paced and offensive-oriented.

Florida didn’t have to wait long to get its first power play of the game. 1:45 into Game 3, the Panthers got the extra man advantage after Braden Schneider was called for delay of game penalty after he sent the puck over the glass.

That penalty was costly because Sam Reinhart put the Panthers up 1-0 after he backhanded the power-play goal past Shesterkin.

The Rangers responded and tied the game 1-1 7:16 into the first period when Alexis Lafrenière’s backhand shot past Bobrovsky. Just 25 seconds later (7:42), the Blueshirts took a 2-1 lead after Goodrow tipped in Braden Schneider‘s shot that went off the post. – Goodrow has scored four of the Rangers’ last 13 goals.

More first-period fireworks ensured 16 seconds later (7:58) after Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller was sent to the penalty box for tripping. However, the Panthers failed to capitalize on the advantage and had just one shot on goal during the power play.

The Panthers had their third power play of the afternoon at 14:07 after Matt Rempe was penalized for roughing. Just like earlier in the second period, Reinhard tied the game 2-2 after scoring his second power-play goal of the first period on a backhand shot.

Florida outshot the Blueshirts 14-8 in the first period.

With the game still tied 2-2 5:11 into the second period, the Rangers received their first power play after Kevin Stenlund was called for interference. The Rangers came away empty-handed after registering just one shot on goal while Stenlund was in the penalty box.

The Rangers got their second power play at 10:37 after Aleksander Barkov was sent to the penalty box after he was called for high-sticking. Their special team woes continue after not scoring a power-play goal in their seventh opportunity in the series.

Despite the lack of power play success in this series, the Rangers retook a 3-2 lead at 15:23 after Lafrenière went around Kulikov and buried the put in the net.

With 2:25 remaining in the second period, Jacob Trouba went to the penalty box for four minutes for two separate infractions. He was first called for slashing and then penalized for elbowing Evan Rodrigues, which sent him to the locker room.

Although they were at a 5-on-4 disadvantage, Goodrow scored a short-handed goal and increased the Rangers lead to 4-2 after he beat Bobrovsky at 18:14. It was the Rangers’ fifth short-handed goal of the postseason, which is tied for the second most in the franchise history (six in 1978-79).

The Rangers continued to lead by two goals until 5:04 in the third period, when Barkov deflected the puck past Shesterkin, cutting the Panthers’ deficit to 4-3. Less than two minutes later (6:58), Florida defenseman Gustav Forsling tied the game 4-4 after his shot in the top-right corner beat Shesterkin. Forsling’s goal sent the Panthers fans at Amerant Bank Arena into a tizzy.

Late in the third period, Trouba returned to the penalty box after being called for holding at 14:23. That gave the Panthers their sixth power-play of the afternoon, but the game remained tied at 4-4.

Florida had several chances to take the lead late in the third period, but Shesterkin stood tall and stopped multiple shots, including a wrist shot by Vladimir Tarasenko. The Rangers didn’t have a single shot on goal during the final eight minutes of the third period.

In overtime, it appeared the Panthers had momentum, but Shesterkin continued to stop every puck that headed his way. That allowed Wennberg to tip in the game-winner and give the Rangers a 2-1 advantage in the series.

Rangers left winger Jimmy Vesey did not play in Game 3 and is week-to-week with an upper-body injury, coach Peter Laviolette told reporters Saturday. Vesey suffered the injury after a hit from Panthers left winger Ryan Lomberg in the second period of Game 2 on Friday. He didn’t return for the third period, and Laviolette said Vesey was being evaluated after the game.

With Vesey out, Kaapo Kakko returned to the lineup for Game 3 after he was a healthy scratch in Game 2.

Game 4 will also be held at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise on Tuesday at 8 p.m.