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Jun 8, 2024 11:16 pm

Sergei Bobrovsky, Panthers stymie Oilers to take Game 1

panthers, oilers

Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky was unbeatable and so were the Florida Panthers as they claimed Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final with a 3-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers Saturday in Sunrise, Fla.

Bobrovsky made 32 saves to record his second shutout of the playoffs.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series will be Monday night in Florida before switching venues.

Carter Verhaeghe, Evan Rodrigues and Eetu Luostarinen each scored a goal, but the game’s biggest story was Bobrovsky.

Bobrovsky proved from the drop of the puck he was on top of his game and carried it through to the final buzzer en route to claiming his third career playoff shutout.

He made first-period breakaway stops on Adam Henrique and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, denied Mattias Janmark’s golden opportunity in the second period and then blocked Connor McDavid’s one-timer of a cross-ice feed early in the third period.

Florida’s other shutout during this year’s playoffs was the opener of the Eastern Conference final series against the New York Rangers, a series the Panthers won in six games.

Aleksander Barkov collected two assists.

Stuart Skinner stopped 15 shots for the Oilers, who were blanked for the first time in this year’s playoff run.

Despite Edmonton controlling the play, Verhaeghe opened the scoring with his 10th goal of the playoffs at the 3:59 mark of the first period. Sprung on an odd-man rush, Barkov sent a cross-ice pass that Verhaeghe buried with his team’s first shot of the affair.

Rodrigues doubled the lead at 2:16 of the second period with another quick-strike goal. Sam Bennett sent the puck deep in the offensive zone and chased it down before sending a pass to the slot that Rodrigues converted for his fourth goal of the postseason run.

The Oilers continued to push but could not solve Bobrovsky before Luostarinen’s empty-net goal with 4.4 seconds remaining sealed the win. It was his second goal of the playoffs.

–Field Level Media

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