Lightning up 3-0 in series, Panthers at brink of elimination

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Steven Stamkos scored two goals and Nikita Kucherov had a goal and three assists and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Florida Panthers 5-1 to move to the brink of another trip to the Eastern Conference final on Sunday.

Corey Perry and Erik Cernak also scored, and reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy had 34 saves to help the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions take a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Panthers, who had the NHL’s best record during the regular season.

Game 4 is Monday night at Amalie Arena, where the Lightning have won three of four games this postseason. One more victory will send them to the Eastern Conference final for the sixth time in eight years.

Sam Reinhart scored Florida’s lone goal. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 31 of 34 shots.

RANGERS 3, HURRICANES 1

NEW YORK (AP) — Mika Zibanejad had a goal and an assist, Igor Shesterkin stopped 43 shots, and New York beat Carolina in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series.

Chris Kreider and Tyler Motte also scored as the Rangers cut their deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-seven matchup. Game 4 is Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

Nino Niederreiter scored for Carolina, and Antti Raanta finished with 30 saves. The Hurricanes dropped to 0-4 on the road this postseason to go along with their 6-0 home mark.

Shesterkin had 17 saves in the first period, 17 in the second and nine in the third.

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

The Associated Press

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