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Forsling's late winner sends Panthers to ECF

Steve Babineau / National Hockey League / Getty

The Florida Panthers are heading to the Eastern Conference Final to face the New York Rangers after eliminating the Boston Bruins with a 2-1 victory in Game 6 on Friday night.

Defenseman Gustav Forsling scored the game-winner with 1:33 left in regulation.

"It's an amazing feeling to see that one go in," Forsling said postgame, according to Sportsnet. "I think we really battled back today and hung in there. I'm happy we got it done today."

Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov made a potential game-saving block on David Pastrnak moments before Forsling's winner.

Barkov left the ice momentarily but returned to close out the game, though he didn't take a crucial faceoff in the final minute.

"I don't even have words for what he's doing for our team right now," Matthew Tkachuk said about Barkov, per Bally Sports Florida's Katie Engelson. "He's the best player in the world right now."

Tkachuk added, "That shot block shows the completion of his game."

Pavel Zacha opened the scoring for the Bruins in the first period, but Boston wasn't able to solve Sergei Bobrovsky afterward. The Panthers netminder finished the contest with 22 saves.

"Bob saved us a bunch of times during the second period," Forsling said, per Sportsnet. "He made us win this game."

Anton Lundell ripped home a loose puck from the slot to even the game in the second period.

It's the second straight year in which the Panthers have made it to the Eastern Conference Final after losing in the Stanley Cup Final to the Vegas Golden Knights a year ago.

The Panthers have ended the Bruins' season in back-to-back years, though they did so in Round 1 in 2023. Florida has now won six consecutive postseason contests at Boston's TD Garden.

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