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The Tampa Bay Lightning threw the Florida Panthers out of the playoffs with a sweep (4-0) in an impressive manner. In game 4, the Stanley Cup champion of the past two seasons won 2-0 and was able to thank goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy in particular, who became the match winner with 49 saves and one shutout. The Panthers clearly dominated the first two thirds with a goal shot ratio of 34:15. Only the hoped-for goals should not fall for Florida, as Vasilevskiy drove the Panthers attackers to despair. It came as it had to come if the chances are not exploited. At the start of the third period, Pat Maroon, a Stanley Cup winner for the past three years, gave Tampa a 1-0 lead. Shortly before the end, Florida was allowed to play again in the power play and could hope for an equalizer. But the weak overpayment game in the final round (only one goal from 31 overtime games) should not prove to be a success factor this time either. Instead, Ondrej Palat decided the game to 2-0 with an empty-netter in the final minute and sent the Panthers on summer vacation.
The Colorado Avalanche won Game 4 of the conference semifinals at the St. Louis Blues 6-3 and now has a 3-1 series lead. Man of the match was Avs forward Nazem Kadri, who managed a hat-trick and an assist. St. Louis got off to a better start and took an early lead through David Perron (6th). But the avalanche should really start rolling in the second round with four goals. Erik Johnson, Kadri (2) and Devon Toews turned the deficit into a 4-1 before the Blues reduced the deficit to 3-4 before the break after scoring from Perron’s second goal of the game and Pavel Buchnevich. Kadri then brought about the preliminary decision with his third goal of the game, before Mikko Rantanen made it 6:3 with an empty netter two seconds before the end. This gives Colorado the chance to decide the series in front of its own crowd and to move into the conference finals in the night from Wednesday to Thursday. As in Game 3, Germany’s Nico Sturm was not used for the Avalanche.