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Sunday Postseason Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

Steven Stamkos struck twice and the Tampa Bay Lightning advanced to their third consecutive Stanley Cup Final with a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final at Amalie Arena on Saturday.

After a scoreless first period, Stamkos opend the scoring at 10:43 of the second with the assists going to Ondrej Palat and Mikail Sergachev.

Former Florida Panthers forward Frank Vatrano tied the game with 6:53 left in regulation with a power-play goal. The lone assist on Vatrano’s fifth postseason marker went to Andrew Copp, who won an offensive draw back straight back to The Tank.

On his second goal, Stamkos would get away from Jacob Trouba to join Nikita Kucherov on a 2-on-1 break. Kucherov found Stamkos with a cross-ice pass. His original shot was stopped by Igor Shesterkin, but the rebound struck Stamkos and bounced back into the net.

The series winning goal came just 21 seconds after Vatrano evened the score. Palat collected his second helper by springing Kucherov.

Andrei Vasilevskiy finished the game with 20 saves to get his 12th win of the playoffs, while Shesterkin stopped 29 of 31 for the Rangers, who dropped four straight after winning the first two games of the series,

The Lightning will meet the Colorado Avalanche for right to lift Lord Stanley’s old mug starting on Wednesday night.

For more on Tampa Bay’s Game 5 win check out Raw Charge and Blueshirt Banter.