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Fantucchio’s Focus: Tkachuk Tormenting Carolina, Stars vs. Knights Game 2

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Good morning, my name is Andrew Fantucchio. It’s Sunday, May 21, and here’s what I’m focused on in the NHL today.

Tkachuk Tormenting Carolina: 

Different game, same result.

The Florida Panthers now hold a commanding 2-0 lead over the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Finals following a 2-1 win in Game 2 that was capped off by Matthew Tkachuk’s second game-winning overtime goal in as many games. The goal at 1:51 into overtime was Tkachuk’s third OT goal in these playoffs, which ties an NHL record for most in a single postseason.

The Hurricanes held a 20-8 shot advantage and a 1-0 lead after the first period, as Jalen Chatfield had the game’s opening score only a 1:43 after puck drop. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 37 of 38 shots in net for Florida.

Aleksander Barkov tied the game in the second period for the Panthers with what may very well be the highlight goal of this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals is scheduled for Monday, May 22, with puck drop from FLA Live Arena set for 8 p.m. EST.

Dallas Stars vs. Vegas Golden Knights Game 2:

The Vegas Golden Knights have the chance to take two games to none lead over the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Finals later this afternoon.

Vegas won Game 1 of the series on Friday after Brett Howden scored 1:35 into overtime.

Game 2 from T-Mobile Arena is set to begin at 3 p.m. EST and can be seen on ESPN.

Cooley Going Back to School:

Logan Cooley, the No. 3 overall pick by the Arizona Coyotes in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, is returning to the University of Minnesota for his sophomore season in 2023-24, per an announcement by the university.

“[Either going pro or staying in school is great] but I felt I had a little more left to do in college hockey,” Cooley told Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports. “I still feel like I have room to grow… After one more season of college hockey, I think I’ll be even more prepared to make the jump.”

While making his decision, the recent rejection of plans for a new arena new to house the Coyotes in the city of Tempe was a factor that Cooley took into consideration.

Cooley is a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award after putting up 60 points in 38 games as a freshman for the Golden Gophers this season.

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