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Jun 24, 2024 11:08 pm

Panthers avert collapse, edge Oilers in Game 7 to take Cup

Panthers, Oilers

Carter Verhaeghe scored one goal and assisted on another to pace the Florida Panthers to a 2-1, Stanley Cup-clinching victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday in Game 7 at Sunrise, Fla.

Sam Reinhart netted the Cup-winning for the Panthers, who saw a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series disappear before claiming the first Stanley Cup title in franchise history with the Game 7 victory.

Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves for the Panthers, nine in the final frame. His biggest play was a diving stop on Zach Hyman during a scramble at his net with seven minutes remaining.

Mattias Janmark scored for Edmonton, while goalie Stuart Skinner stopped 19 shots. Edmonton captain Connor McDavid was held without a point for the second consecutive game.

The Oilers, who were attempting to become only the second team in history and first since 1942 to win after falling behind 3-0 in the finals, lost in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final their last two trips. The also fell just short in 2006 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Reinhart provided Florida its second lead of the night at 15:11 of the second period. Seconds after the Oilers nearly scored during a flurry of action at both ends, Reinhart led a rush up ice and found the mark from just beyond the right faceoff dot for his 10th of the playoffs.

The Oilers dominated the third period, holding the Panthers to only four shots on goal in the frame and only two in the final 14:43. However, Edmonton could not find the equalizer in the entertaining affair despite a litany of action at the Florida net.

The clubs traded first-period goals just over two minutes apart. Verhaeghe’s first goal since he opened the scoring in Game 1 of the finals put the Panthers on the board first. He deflected Evan Rodrigues’ shot for his 11th of the playoffs at 4:27.

Janmark replied at 6:44 with his second of the series and fourth of the post-season by converting a breakaway chance with a top-shelf shot.

Instead of repeating history with a completed comeback, the Oilers are only the second team in history to force a Game 7 after trailing 3-0 in the finals before losing the deciding clash. The Detroit Red Wings pushed the Toronto Maple Leafs to a Game 7 in that scenario in 1945, three years after the Maple Leafs rallied from three games down to top the Red Wings in the finals.

Edmonton’s defeat extends the string of years since a Canadian team last won the Stanley Cup to 31. The Montreal Canadiens last brought the cup north in 1993.

–Field Level Media

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