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Stanley Cup Final: Edmonton Oilers force Game 7 with 5-1 win over Florida Panthers

Click to play video: '‘Confidence is an amazing thing’: Edmonton Oilers coach on team’s Stanley Cup Final quest'
‘Confidence is an amazing thing’: Edmonton Oilers coach on team’s Stanley Cup Final quest
Speaking after the team's Game 6 win, Edmonton Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch said even when others had written the team off in the Stanley Cup Finals, the boys in the locker room never stopped believing they would get this far – Jun 22, 2024

The Edmonton Oilers forced a seventh and deciding game in the Stanley Cup Final by beating the Florida Panthers 5-1 Friday night at Rogers Place.

It’s just the tenth time in NHL history a team has extended a series to seven games after trailing 3-0.

“Obviously the moment gets bigger every game you go further, but it’s just another elimination game,” Oilers forward Zach Hyman said.

“I’ve been here a long time and been through some pretty bad years and seemingly the people that were there tonight showed up every night,” Leon Draisaitl said. “So to give them (a win) is pretty special and hopefully we can finish the job for them.”

Warren Foegele opened the scoring 7:27 into the first, converting a pass from Draisaitl for his third of the post-season. The Oilers outshot the Panthers 11-2 in the first.

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Just 46 seconds into the second, Adam Henrique took a feed from Mattias Janmark and beat Sergei Bobrovsky’s blocker side for his fourth.

Aleksander Barkov scored for the Panthers only 10 seconds later, but the goal was negated after the Oilers successfully challenged for offside.

There was a lengthy video review, with the Panthers appearing to be just a whisker offside on the zone entry.

“I didn’t think it was that close,” Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch said of the review. “The only hesitation there was — maybe there wasn’t the right video. In my mind it was definitely offside.”

“It’s a nice break to go our way, for sure,” Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. “We had a good feeling.

“It still makes you nervous about whether they’re seeing it or whether it’s conclusive, but we had a good feeling about that one.”

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With less than two minutes to go in the second, Nugent-Hopkins blocked a shot, sending the puck floating into the neutral zone. Zach Hyman tracked it down and went to the backhand to beat Bobrovsky on a breakaway, giving the Oilers a 3-0 lead.

“His first couple of stride are so powerful and I think you could see it today on the goal–he just explodes out of there,” Draisaitl said about Hyman.

Barkov would get one that counted 1:28 into the third, walking in from the right side, maneuvering around Stuart Skinner and tucking the puck into the open side. Skinner made a huge right pad save on Sam Reinhart with just under five minutes remaining.

Bobrovsky was pulled for an extra attacker with 3:30 left. Ryan McLeod and Darnell Nurse promptly scored empty net goals 12 seconds apart.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do but I’m very proud of how we finished the game out too,” Skinner said.

Click to play video: '‘If anyone can do it, it’s the oil’: Skinner, Draisaitl on Edmonton Oilers unshakeable belief in Stanley Cup dreams'
‘If anyone can do it, it’s the oil’: Skinner, Draisaitl on Edmonton Oilers unshakeable belief in Stanley Cup dreams

The Oilers are trying to become the first team since the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs to win the Stanley Cup Final after trailing the series 3-0. In NHL history, there have been only four successful rallies from 3-0 deficits.

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“This is going to be the hardest game of the series,” Draisaitl said. “But with that being said, we’re really proud to give ourselves a chance.”

The Panthers will host Game 7 on Monday (630 CHED, Face-off Show at 4 p.m., game at 6 p.m.).

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