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Vasilevskiy, Lightning Top Panthers To Advance In Stanley Cup Playoffs

Panthers Lightning Hockey
Chris O'Meara/AP
Florida Panthers right wing Patric Hornqvist (70) leads the team to congratulate the Tampa Bay Lightning after the Lightning defeated the Florida Panthers during Game 6 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in Tampa. The Lightning won the series 4-2.

The Lightning will play the winner of the Carolina-Nashville series in the second round.

Andrei Vasilevskiy wrapped up a series with a Game 6 shutout for the second straight time, stopping 29 shots in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 4-0 victory Wednesday night over the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena.

Vasilevskiy also shut out the Dallas Stars last year to win the Stanley Cup.

The Lightning advanced to face the Carolina-Nashville winner in the second round. Tampa Bay advanced to the second round for the fifth time in the past seven years.

The Panthers have not won a playoff series since the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals.

Steven Stamkos scored his third goal of the series and Pat Maroon added his first. Brayden Point added his fourth of the series in the third period and Alex Killorn had an empty-netter.

The Lightning announced Thursday that the number of fans allowed into the Amalie Arena for the second round of the playoffs will be increased to 13,500 — about 70% of capacity for hockey games at the venue.

The Lightning said they received permission from the NHL, as well as health and government officials.

They had earlier increased the capacity from 7,000 at the end of the regular season to 9,000 for the first round.

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