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Maurice wants Panthers to 'keep the growl' after OT loss

Joel Auerbach / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice doesn't want his players to forget how they're feeling after Sunday's hard-fought 5-4 overtime loss in Game 3 against the New York Rangers.

"Sometimes, you want to keep the growl," he said postgame, according to Florida Hockey Now. "A lot of times in the playoffs, it's about making sure that you keep that energy and you cut off your losses and you let it go. Then there's times you want to keep it and eat it and let it burn for a while and find a different kind of energy source.

"So you put up whatever we put up tonight and you don't come away with the win, you should be a little growly."

The Panthers dominated the Rangers everywhere but the scoresheet as their Eastern Conference rivals took a 2-1 series lead. Florida held a lopsided 108-44 edge in shot attempts and 37-23 advantage in shots at all strengths while controlling 69.6% of the scoring chances and 71% of the expected goals at five-on-five, per Natural Stat Trick.

"Any time you lose a close one like that, it's obviously frustrating," lamented Panthers forward Sam Reinhart. "You can say we dominate, but then you look at the mistakes that lead to their goals. There's areas of improvement, for sure."

Florida entered the second intermission down 4-2 after allowing a demoralizing shorthanded goal to Barclay Goodrow on a four-minute power play.

The Cardiac Cats forced overtime thanks to captain Aleksander Barkov and rearguard Gustav Forsling, but Rangers forward Alex Wennberg scored the dagger on a deflection for New York's second straight overtime victory and fourth of these playoffs. The win marked the Rangers' 34th comeback of 2023-24, setting an NHL record for most in a single season, per NHL PR.

"We have a no-panic mentality that (is) relied on in those moments when we're under siege," Goodrow said, according to USA Today's Vince Z. Mercogliano. "It might get ugly sometimes. ... In the end, a win's a win."

Igor Shesterkin made 33 saves - 16 of which came in the third period and overtime - to stave off the Panthers' attack.

"He was our best player tonight, I thought," forward Vincent Trocheck told NHL Network postgame. "When you have a guy like that back there, you have a lot of confidence.

Trocheck added: "He made countless big saves to keep us in the game. ... I think he stole this one a little bit late."

The Panthers will look to avoid going down 3-1 during Game 4 on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.

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