The Panthers’ power play is producing vs Rangers. What has led to the uptick in success?

The Florida Panthers’ power play has gone through its lulls throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs. Entering the Eastern Conference final, Florida had put up just nine power-play goals through its first 11 postseason games against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins, with four of those nine goals coming during Game 3 against Boston.

But the Panthers have begun to produce on the man advantage against the New York Rangers, scoring five power-play goals so far in the series entering Game 5 on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

Two of Florida’s goals in its Game 4 win against the Rangers on Tuesday came on the power play, including Sam Reinhart’s game-winner in overtime. The third came moments after a power play expired.

“It’s nice to see it clicking a little bit here,” forward Carter Verhaeghe said.

So what exactly has been clicking?

Star Panthers winger Matthew Tkachuk perhaps explained it best.

“A big thing is you don’t necessarily have to race to your position,” Tkachuk said. “We’ve got five guys that [can produce]. I mean, I’ve seen some times where Monty [defenseman Brandon Montour] is ending up net front or slot and it really doesn’t matter where you are on the ice. Don’t worry about racing to your position; just worry about moving the puck as quick as you can. That’s kind of what it is with us. There are some penalty killers that you play that are really passive where you can easily get your setup and move it around and feel good, but you’ve almost got to treat it like five on five just moving quick and when you see an opening get to the net.”

The Panthers have more than enough skill on both power-play units to be successful. The top group consists of Aleksander Barkov, Verhaeghe, Tkachuk, Reinhart and Montour. The second unit is forwards Sam Bennett, Anton Lundell, Vladimir Tarasenko, Evan Rodrigues and defenseman Gustav Forsling. All 10 players are efficient at moving the puck and have high scoring potential.

“We’ve been very confident with our power play really all year,” Tkachuk said. “It’s nice to see them go in. ... A lot of it is just being quick. When we’re quicker, we’re way better.”

Verhaeghe left the ice early during morning skate after taking a puck to the face after it ricocheted off goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky’s mask. Panthers coach Paul Maurice said Verhaeghe received a couple stitches but will play on Thursday. No lineup changes are expected.

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