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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

No-Name Panthers Take Series

PITTSBURGH -- John Vanbiesbrouck made 39 saves and the upstart Panthers played smothering defense in front of him as Florida, in just its third year in the NHL, advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals with a stirring seventh-game victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Florida, in its first season in the playoffs, will take on the Colorado Avalanche in a battle for Lord Stanley's Cup between two franchises that have never before been to the finals.

The Panthers once again shut down Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr, double and triple-teaming the league's two most prolific goal scorers to leave them no room to work their magic.

The Panthers took a 1-0 lead into the third period on Mike Hough's goal at 13:13 of the first. He worked a give-and-go with Robert Svehla and beat Tom Barrasso from in close.

Pittsburgh beat Vanbiesbrouck 83 seconds into the third when Petr Nedved fired in a close shot on a powerplay.

Fitzgerald broke the 1-1 deadlock with 13:42 remaining when he took one stride over the Pittsburgh blue line and fired a long slap shot that nicked a Penguins defenseman's stick and dipped under Barrasso and into the net. With less than three minutes left and the Penguins working desperately for the tying goal, Florida's Bill Lindsay stole the puck deep in his own end and took off down the left side on a two-on-one break with Garpenlov. Lindsay slid the puck across to Garpenlov, who let fly a slapper that caught Barrasso's stick and deflected up and over his shoulder.