Eastern Conference final Game 3: New York Rangers 5, Florida Panthers 4 (OT)

The Florida Panthers and New York Rangers had to play into overtime in each of their past two games in the Eastern Conference final.

The Rangers came out on top both times.

Alex Wennberg scored the game-winning goal 5:35 into overtime to seal the Rangers’ 5-4 win in Game 3 on Sunday at Amerant Bank Arena.

That came after Florida scored twice in the third period to tie the game.

Alexis Lafreniere and Barclay Goodrow each scored twice in regulation for the Rangers. Sam Reinhart had a pair of first-period power-play goals for Florida, which also got goals in the third from Aleksander Barkov and Gustav Forsling.

To overtime we go

For a second consecutive game, the Panthers and Rangers are going to overtime.

Florida dominated the third period, holding a 13-4 edge in shots on goal and a staggering 40-10 advantage in shot attempts.

Can they carry that over into overtime?

And the Panthers tie it

Well, we have a game.

Gustav Forsling tied it up 4-4 with a snap shot from just in front of the left circle with 13:02 left in regulation.

Barkov gets the Panthers within a goal

The Panthers aren’t going down without a fight.

Aleksander Barkov put Florida within a goal, 4-3, 5:04 into the third period, scoring from up close on assists from Carter Verhaeghe and Niko Mikkola.

It was Barkov’s sixth goal of the postseason.

The goal came after Panthers coach Paul Maurice changed up his top three forward lines. Verhaeghe joined the top line with Barkov and Sam Reinhart. That moved Vladimir Tarasenko to a line with Anton Lundell and Eetu Luostarinen, while Sam Bennett centered Evan Rodrigues and Matthew Tkachuk.

Rangers score shorthanded to double lead

The Panthers were given a four-minute power-play late in the second period after Jacob Trouba committed a pair of penalties.

But it was the Rangers who struck first with Florida playing a man up, as Barclay Goodrow tallied a shorthanded goal for his second goal of the game.

The Panthers are down 4-2 with 1:46 left in the middle period.

Rangers back on top

Alexis Lafreniere scored his second goal of the game with 4:37 left in the second period after slicing his way through the Panthers’ defense and beating Sergei Bobrovsky up close.

The Panthers’ penalty kill continues to impress

Twice so far in the second period, the Panthers have found themselves in the penalty box.

And twice they have negated the Rangers’ high-potent power play.

Overall in the series, the Panthers are 8 for 8 on the penalty kill.

First intermission thoughts

The score might be even, but the Panthers looked like the more aggressive team for most of the first period.

Florida had the 16-8 edge in shots on goal, 29-10 edge in shot attempts and 6-1 edge in high-danger chances.

Aleksander Barkov led the way with four shots on goal.

Reinhart scores again on the power play

The Panthers tied the game with 5:14 left in the first period on Sam Reinhart’s second power-play goal of the period — a backhanded shot from a tight angle to the side of the net.

Reinhart is just the third player in Panthers history to have multiple power-play goals in a playoff game. The others are Matthew Tkachuk (Game 4 of the 2023 Eastern Conference final against the Carolina Hurricanes) and Stephen Weiss (Game 2 of the 2012 first round against the New Jersey Devils).

Rangers quickly tie it up ... and then take the lead

The Rangers wasted little time getting back into the game. Alexis Lafreniere tied the game 7:17 into the first after he slipped past the Panthers defense and beat Sergei Boborvsky with a backhanded shot on a breakaway.

Twenty-five seconds after that, Barclay Goodrow gave the Rangers their first lead of the game when he deflected in a long shot from Braden Schneider.

Panthers strike first on the power play

The Panthers opened scoring 2:50 into regulation on a Sam Reinhart power-play goal, with Reinhart firing a backhanded shot that beat Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin up high.

Florida has a power-play goal in consecutive games this series and are 2 for 6 on the power play overall against the Rangers.

Aleksander Barkov and Matthew Tkachuk got the assists.

It was Reinhart’s sixth goal of the postseason.

Series recap and schedule

Game 1: Sergei Bobrovsky had a 23-save shutout, while Matthew Tkachuk, Carter Verhaeghe and Sam Bennett scored goals in Florida’s 3-0 win.

Game 2: Barclay Goodrow scored the game-winner with 5:59 left in overtime to lift the New York Rangers to a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers in Game 2 of the series on Friday at Madison Square Garden. New York’s Vincent Trocheck and Florida’s Carter Verhaeghe each scored in the first period. That was all that would get past either Sergei Bobrovsky or Igor Shesterkin in regulation.

Game 3: Sunday, May 26, Sunrise’s Amerant Bank Arena, 3 p.m., ABC, ESPN+

Game 4: Tuesday, Sunrise’s Amerant Bank Arena, 8 p.m., ESPN, ESPN+

Game 5: Thursday, May 30, New York’s Madison Square Garden, 8 p.m., ESPN, ESPN+

Game 6 (if necessary): Saturday, June 1, Sunrise’s Amerant Bank Arena, 8 p.m., ABC, ESPN+

Game 7 (if necessary): Monday, June 3, New York’s Madison Square Garden, 8 p.m., ESPN, ESPN+

Pregame reading

Need to catch up ahead of Game 3? Here are the highlights of the Miami Herald’s coverage over the past two days.

Rangers’ ‘emotional advantage’ pays off in Game 2 overtime winner to even series with Panthers

Paul Maurice evaluates Panthers after OT loss to Rangers in Game 2 of Eastern Conference final

Florida Panthers Q&A: Bill Zito pulls back curtain on what has led to the team’s success

A Panthers strength has been on display in the playoffs. They need it to continue