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St. Louis native Matthew Tkachuk sends Panthers to Stanley Cup Final

Here's how Matthew Tkachuk helped the Florida Panthers complete a sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final.

SUNRISE, Fla. — St. Louis native Matthew Tkachuk delivered for the Florida Panthers, again.

Many St. Louisans know Keith Tkachuk, who played for the St. Louis Blues for nine seasons. A Blues legend and a fan favorite, his sons Matthew, Brady and Taryn grew up in St. Louis.

Matthew attended Chaminade College Preparatory School and began his hockey career in the area. He went on to play for the Calgary Flames before being dealt to the Florida Panthers ahead of the 2022-23 season.

He quickly became the talk of the Eastern Conference Final after his dominant performance. From OT winners to walk-off celebrations, he helped the Panthers do the impossible.

In Game 1, the Panthers and Hurricanes were tied going into the fourth overtime period and came close to a fifth.

Tkachuk ended the marathon with the game-winning goal with 12.7 seconds left in the period. It became the sixth-longest game in National League Hockey's history. He walked off the ice as his celebration, running down the hallway to the locker room after the win.

In Game 2, the teams went into OT again, tied 1-1 after regulation. But this game didn't need 4 OTs. 

Tkachuk finished a feed from Sam Reinhart at the 1:51 mark of overtime to take a commanding 2-0 series lead. 

Game 3 on Monday night didn't go into overtime and Tkachuk didn't have the winning goal. But, he still had an assist on the game-winning goal by Reinhart. The Panthers would win 3-0 and take a three-game series lead. 

The Hurricanes came into Game 4 as a must-win to stay alive in the playoffs and go back home for a Game 5. 

In came Tkachuk once again. 

After Carolina's Jesper Fast tied the game 3-3 with 3:22 left in the third period, many thought another overtime period was looming. 

A late penalty by the Hurricanes gave the Panthers an advantage in the final minutes of Game 4. 

Matthew Tkachuk scored a power-play goal with 4.9 seconds left in regulation to win the series and send the Panthers to their first Stanley Cup Final since 1996. 

The Panthers came into the NHL Playoffs as the second Wild Card and went on to defeat the record-setting Boston Bruins in the first round and the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round. They topped it off with the series sweep against the Carolina Hurricanes and are going to the Stanley Cup Final. 

They will face either the Vegas Golden Knights or Dallas Stars in the Final. 

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