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The Rat King strikes again!!!! Are you freaking kidding me!?!?

Matthew Tkachuk scored the game-winning goals in the marathon four-overtime thriller to open the Eastern Conference Final, then did it again in the extra period the next time out. After helping set up Sam Reinhart's lone goal (the GWG) in Game 3, Tkachuk knocked the puck past Hurricanes goalie Frederik Andersen with seconds remaining to avoid yet another OT!!

Talk about heartbreak for the Canes. To make it all the way to the Conference Finals in such excellent form, only to have your soul ripped from your body. It's one thing to get swept and be dominated. It's another thing entirely to push Florida to OT in all but one of those losses. Can't even imagine the pain Carolina fans are in right now. Oh well at least y'all have Bryce Young to look forward to in the NFL, right?

Speaking of other sports in Florida, it looks like we'll have two Miami-area finalists once the Heat presumably close out the Celtics. Similar to the Heat's improbable run as a No. 8 seed, it can't be overstated just how impressive of a job the P's have done to will themselves to the NHL's grand finale.

And naturally, PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka was in attendance at FLA Live Arena for yet another incredible Panthers victory. From another televised version of Tkachuk's winner:


An amazing alt angle shows how composed Tkachuk was with the clock winding down:

Once Mike McDaniel did THIS to fire up the folks in attendance, I felt like there was a zero point zero percent chance the Panthers weren't closing this fucker out tonight — even after Carolina got an equalizer from Jesper Fast with only 4:22 left in regulation.

Should add that Tkachuk scored in the first period of Game 4, too. What a machine!! 

Especially if the Panthers go on to win the Cup, we'll be talking about Tkachuk's postseason performance for years to come. On about the biggest stage imaginable, to score the winning goal in three of four games? That's unheard of. That's beyond clutch. What the hell even is that? 

Very generous of Tkachuk to not keep us all waiting till overtime for his GWG heroics. Gotta appreciate him for that.

Nothing left to do but BUY THE MERCH.


Twitter @MattFitz_gerald/TikTok