Edmonton Oilers win third-straight over Florida Panthers to force Game 7 in Stanley Cup Final | TSN (2024)

EDMONTON — The Oilers are one win from history. The Panthers are one loss from infamy.

Zach Hyman scored his playoff-leading 16th goal and Stuart Skinner made 20 saves as Edmonton defeated Florida 5-1 on Friday to force Game 7 in the Stanley Cup final.

Warren Foegele, with a goal and an assist, and Adam Henrique provided the rest of the offence before Ryan McLeod and Darnell Nurse added empty netters for the Oilers, who have stormed back with three consecutive victories to tie the title series after going down 3-0.

Aleksander Barkov replied for the Panthers — a group that will head home searching for answers with their stranglehold on hockey's holy grail having evaporated. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 16 shots.

Game 7 goes Monday in Sunrise, Fla.

Edmonton is looking to become only the fifth team in NHL history to win a best-of-seven showdown after trailing 3-0 — and just the second in the Cup final, joining the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs.

A victory by the Oilers in the final game of the 2023-24 season would also mark the end to Canada's 30-year Cup drought dating back to the 1993 Montreal Canadiens' victory over Wayne Gretzky's Los Angeles Kings.

The orange-and-blue party around Rogers Place started in the hours before the 6 p.m. local time puck drop.

Well-lubricated fans lined up for blocks around the arena for a spot in the outdoor viewing area and others crowded bars and patios in the sunshine with their hockey team still playing on the second day of summer, while one group drove an Oilers-themed Zamboni around the streets in the city's downtown core.

The raucous atmosphere inside the rink hit a fever pitch when the Oilers hit the ice, with the scoreboard sound meter hitting 113.8 decibels ahead of the latest NHL game ever played in Canada during a non-pandemic season.

Edmonton — now 5-0 when facing elimination this spring, including an 8-1 victory in Game 3 and a 5-3 triumph in Game 5 to stay alive in the final thanks to consecutive four-point performances from Connor McDavid — opened the scoring at 7:27 of the first period.

Edmonton raced the other way after Florida turned the puck over at the offensive blue line before Leon Draisaitl found Foegele with a perfect saucer pass for his third of the post-season.

The Oilers went up 2-0 just 46 seconds into the second when they caught the Panthers with a rim around the boards that created a 2-on-1 that saw Mattias Janmark find Henrique before he settled the puck and ripped his fourth.

Barkov fired past Skinner just 10 seconds later, but Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch correctly challenged for offside.

The Oilers killed off a penalty later in the period — the 45th in the last 46 short-handed situations — before Skinner made a good stop off Barkov on a 2-on-1.

Hyman made it 3-0 with 1:40 left in the second when he took a pass from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and raced in on a breakaway and beat Bobrovsky to the backhand with his 70th overall including the regular season.

The only other players with as many goals in a single post-season over the last 30 years are Joe Sakic (18 in 1996) and Pavel Bure (16 in 1994).

Chants of "Ser-gei! Ser-gei!" rang around the cavernous building as the seconds ticked down with the Oilers holding an 18-4 aggregate score over the Panthers since the third period of Game 3.

Florida finally got on the board at 1:28 of the third when Edmonton couldn't get the puck out and Barkov wove in front to slide his eighth past Skinner.

Edmonton forward Derek Ryan then took a high-sticking penalty, but his teammates once again killed off the threat before McLeod and Nurse, with a primary assist from Skinner after a terrific save, scored into the empty net to spark wild scenes inside and outside Rogers Place.

A team that climbed out of a regular-season hole that had them sitting 32nd in the overall standings before eventually going on a 16-game winning streak — and a pair of other long runs — the Oilers now head to South Florida sitting one win from hockey's ultimate prize.

HAND UP

McDavid, who leads the playoffs with an outrageous 42 points, dragged Edmonton back into the series with his performances in Game 4 and Game 5, while Draisaitl has been relatively quiet.

"I hold myself to extremely high standards," the big German said Friday morning before picking up his third point of the final on Foegele's opener. "I don't get to that, obviously I'm not happy with it.

"I'm very excited to come into (Game 6)."

FAMILIAR FACES

Former Oilers goaltender Andy Moog and ex-winger Raffi Torres were in attendance and got huge rounds of applause.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 21, 2024.

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Edmonton Oilers win third-straight over Florida Panthers to force Game 7 in Stanley Cup Final | TSN (2024)
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