Just when you think Matthew Tkachuk cannot possibly get any more clutch, he finds new ways to amaze. In Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final, Tkachuk did it again with his game-winning goal that sent the Florida Panthers to the Stanley Cup Final with a 4-3 victory.
With 57 seconds remaining in the third period and the game tied at 3-3, Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal took a tripping penalty. Tkachuk saw an opportunity to end the game and the series without going to yet another overtime, and he seized it.
As the seconds ticked down in regulation, Tkachuk got the puck at the goal line and showed incredible poise and patience as he circled to the front of the net. He hesitated for just a fraction of a second and beat Frederik Andersen with a great shot to the far side.
MATTHEW TKACHUK, ARE YOU KIDDING?! 😱😱😱— NHL (@NHL) May 25, 2023
HE SCORES WITH 4 SECONDS LEFT IN REGULATION AND SENDS FLORIDA TO THE #STANLEYCUP FINAL! pic.twitter.com/Om5qu9d1T7
That goal, which officially came at 19:55 of the third period, tied the Toronto Maple Leafs' Nick Metz for the latest series-winning regulation goal in NHL playoff history.
Tkachuk is in the midst of a Herculean playoff run, putting the Panthers on his back time and time again. Tonight's game-winning goal was his fourth of these playoffs, and he scored the overtime winner in Games 1 and 2 of the conference final as well.
Tkachuk has been the most clutch player in the 2023 playoffs, and now it's time to see what he has in store for the Stanley Cup Final.