"He's used to diving, so no big deal": Fans react to Matthew Tkachuk’s dramatic empty-net save before Connor McDavid’s goal in Stanley Cup Game 5

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Edmonton Oilers at Florida Panthers
Matthew Tkachuk's valiant effort comes up short as Connor McDavid secures Oilers' victory

Matthew Tkachuk raced from mid-ice and pursued a puck toward an empty net. He threw himself forward and knocked the puck away, which kept the Panthers' hopes alive. However, Connor McDavid was quick to reach the puck. He scored, securing the Oilers' win.

Tkachuk's stats were one goal and one assist in the 5-3 Game 5 loss. It was his first goal since Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. He had only one assist in the last six games.

Tkachuk has averaged a point per game in the playoffs. He has six goals and 16 assists in 22 games. He also has 81 shots on goal, 64 hits, 27 penalty minutes and a plus-3 rating.

B/R Open Ice shared a video of Tkachuk diving to stop the empty net goal.

Fans reacted to the save on X

"He's used to diving, so no big deal," one fan tweeted.
"Can’t stand him but Tkachuk pushed the game tonight. He was solid. It also pushed McDavid to go even harder. Love watching talent push each other. Best sport in the world," one fan tweeted.
"Well he does have tons of experience diving and it paid off for a couple seconds," an X user tweeted.

Here are some reactions from NHL fans.

"Like most of Tkachuks career, not good enough," a fan tweeted.
"What can you say, he’s good at diving on the ice," one fan tweeted.
"I turned to my friend and gasped and then heard McDavid scored and was like f**k, that was quick," a fan tweeted.

Matthew Tkachuk's desperate performance in Game 5 to close out the series

Matthew Tkachuk discussed the need for focus after the Florida Panthers' 5-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. Despite a 3-0 series lead, the Panthers must now travel back to Edmonton for Game 6.

“No, no, no,” Tkachuk said (via NHL.com), referring to Panthers' 4-3 win in Game 3. “It’s not an elimination game for us right now. We’re going up there. We have a 3-2 series lead. Just got to take care of business like we did in Game 3.”
“He was unbelievable tonight,” Bennett said in praise of Tkachuk's performance. “He elevated his game and the boys followed. We need that from him, for sure.”

Coach Paul Maurice praised Tkachuk’s efforts and discussed the Panthers’ strong play in the second and third periods.

“Amazing. He was fantastic,” Maurice said. “He scored a huge goal and then that line was on fire. The last thing you want is him with the puck on the stick in the slot.”

The Panthers nearly erased a 3-0 deficit, starting with Tkachuk’s snapshot goal, but ultimately lost the game.

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Edited by Abhimanyu Gupta
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