"We're very comfortable in this position": Matthew Tkachuk unconcerned as Florida Panthers lose 3-0 series lead in Stanley Cup Final

2024 Stanley Cup Final - Media Day
2024 Stanley Cup Final - Media Day

The Florida Panthers fell to the Edmonton Oilers 5-3 on Tuesday night in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Panthers had jumped out to a commanding 3-0 series lead, but the Oilers have rallied to win the last two games.

Despite the back-to-back losses, Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk remains confident in his team's position.

"We're very comfortable in this position," Tkachuk said in a press conference on Friday.
"Obviously being up three games to zero, you know we wouldn't have wanted it to go to this point... We knew they were going to have a push, they're an unbelievable team, they've had great playoffs, great season, we knew this wasn't going to be a four-game series, let's all be honest here."

Tkachuk also mentioned similarities between the Panthers' Round 2 playoff showdown with the Boston Bruins and Round 3 against the New York Rangers. They faced similar scenarios before clinching victory in Game 6 to move to the next round.

"We were in this position a couple of series ago in Boston," Matthew Tkachuk added. "We played the Rangers and had a very similar position going there for a Game 5. So, we're very comfortable right now, we're excited, we know it's going to be a great environment tomorrow and hopefully our last game of the season."

Matthew Tkachuk discusses his performance and mindset

In Game 5, Matthew Tkachuk recorded a goal and an assist. When asked about his performance, Tkachuk said:

"I just want to elevate because I want to help my team, I want to help this team win."

Tkachuk noted both teams are focused solely on winning one game at a time.

"It's kind of what everybody thinks right now. It's go out there do whatever you can to just win that one game, we have that mindset, Edmonton has that mindset."

According to Tkachuk, that narrow focus has been key to getting this far for both Alberta teams.

"I think that's why you know both teams are in the position they're in right now is because we've both had that."

Looking ahead to Game 6, Tkachuk stressed not dwelling on the past, good or bad.

"You don't really think about the series, you don't try to get ahead of yourself, you don't you know reflect on mistakes made in previous games like you just attack each day and each game like it's a completely new one."

With the Stanley Cup Final on the line, Matthew Tkachuk is embracing the high stakes.

"It doesn't matter you know what I did or what we did last game, it's a fresh fresh day tomorrow, it's a fresh game, fresh new game day, so we're very excited like I said I'm sure they're excited, Stanley Cup finals it doesn't get better than this."

With the series now shifting back to Edmonton's Rogers Place for Game 6, the Panthers will look to capture the first Stanley Cup in franchise history on the road.

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Edited by Chaitanya Prakash
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