Nick Cousins of Belleville, Ontario scored his first National Hockey League Stanley Cup Playoff overtime winner on Friday. He accomplished the feat in a 3-2 Florida Panthers overtime winner over the Toronto Maple Leafs in game five of the Eastern Conference semifinals at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario. With the win, the Panthers won the Eastern Conference second round playoff series four games to one, and will next play the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final.
Cousins scored from Radko Gudas at 15:32 of the first overtime period. He was one of three Canadians to score in the game. He was joined by defenseman Aaron Ekblad of Windsor, Ontario and Carter Verhaeghe of Toronto, Ontario. Ekblad and Verhaeghe both scored in the first period with Ekblad’s goal coming on the power play. Ekblad and Verhaeghe led the Panthers with two points each as they both had one goal and one assist. Verhaeghe assisted on the Ekblad goal and Ekblad assisted on the Verhaeghe goal.
The Panthers will next play the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final. That best out of seven series will commence sometime this week. The two Western Conference semifinals have yet to be completed. It will be the first time ever that the Panthers and Hurricanes are playing against each other in the playoffs.