G25+ Game Notes: Do or Die for Oilers and Panthers

Edmonton Oilers Florida Panthers
Photo credit:Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
29 days ago
The anticipation for tonight’s Game 7, the third Game 7 in a Stanley Cup Final in Oilers franchise history, is bigger than any game I can remember. The entire hockey world has been sucked into watching this game, mainly because many never thought it was possible after the Florida Panthers took a 3-0 series lead. The last time a team trailing 3-0 forced a Game 7 in the Cup Final was in 1945, and when you combine the Oilers’ comeback with Connor McDavid having one of the great playoff performances in history and the Florida Panthers being in their second-consecutive final, tonight will be must-watch television.
I, like you, can’t wait.
— This will be the 18th Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final. The home team is 12-5, however, the last three were won by the road team: Washington in 2019, Boston in 2011 and Pittsburgh in 2009.
— The team that scores first is 12-5 in Game 7 of the Final. The 1987 Edmonton Oilers were the last team who didn’t score first, but came back and won Game 7. They defeated Philadelphia 3-1.
— This is the third time in NHL history a Game 7 will be played after one team trailed 3-0 in the series. The 1942 Maple Leafs came back and won Game 7 on home ice, while the 1945 Detroit Red Wings evened the series at three, but then lost Game 7 on home ice. Edmonton can be the first team in NHL history to overcome a 3-0 series deficit and win the Cup on the road.
— Overtime would seem unlikely. Only two Game 7s in the Cup Final went to OT, and they happened in 1950 and 1954. Detroit won both times.
— There has never been a hat trick in Game 7 of the Cup Final. Eleven players have scored two goals, with the most recent being both Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron in 2011 with the Boston Bruins.
—  Five players have scored three points in Game 7 and all occurred when their team won:  Brad Marchand (2-1—3) with the 2011 Bruins, Mike Rupp (1-2—3) with the 2003 New Jersey Devils, Alex Tanguay (2-1—3) with the 2001 Avalanche, as well as Dick Duff(1-2—3) and Bobby Rousseau(0-3—3) with the 1965 Canadiens. Rousseau is the only player with three assists in Game 7 of the Final.
— Connor McDavid needs one point to tie Wayne Gretzky for third most points (43) in a playoff year. If he records two points he will tie Mario Lemieux for second with 44 points. He would need five points to tie Gretzky (47) for the most all time.
— The Oilers will set a franchise record for most games played in a playoff year tonight when they skate in their 25th games of the playoffs. They played 24 in 2006 and 16 in 1983 when they lost the Cup and played 22 in 1990, 21 in 1987, 19 in 1984 and 18 in 1988 and 1985 when they won Stanley.
— Zach Hyman is the 13th player in NHL history to score 16 playoff goals in a season. He joins Mike Bossy (3x), Lemieux (2x) and Pavel Bure, Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Reggie Leach, Joe Mullen, Cam Neely, Steve Payne, Joe Sakic, Craig Simpson and Kevin Stevens. He is the fourth Edmonton Oiler to do it. Pittsburgh is the only other franchise with at least two players who did it. Leach and Kurri hold the record with 19 goals.
Leach (1976), Payne (1981), Neely (1991) and Bure (1994) didn’t win the Cup, while the other 11 times the player scoring 16 goals hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup.
— McDavid needs one point to join Gretzky (10x) and Lemieux (3x) as the only players with 175 points combined between the regular season and playoffs. Gretzky holds the record with 255 points and has eight of the top-nine totals ranging from 190 to 255 points. McDavid did tally 173 last year when he scored 153 points in the regular season and 20 in two rounds of the playoffs.
— The Oilers have 16 skaters with at least two points in the Cup Final thus far. McDavid leads with 11, followed by Warren Foegele (2-3-5) and Evan Bouchard (0-5-5). McDavid and Ryan McLeod are tied for the team lead with three goals, and five others have two goals. A total of 13 players have scored in the Final. They had 10 skaters score a goal in round one, 10 in round two and 11 in round three. Their depth production has improved the deeper they go. The Oilers have 13 skaters with a goal in the Final, and Bouchard and Leon Draisaitl are not among them.
— Foegele is riding a four-game point streak — the longest point streak of his career, regular season or playoffs.
— Paul Maurice is 4-0 in Game 7s as an NHL head coach. Kris Knoblauch is 1-0.
— The Oilers can become the second team in NHL history to win the Cup after sitting 10+ points out of a playoff spot during the regular season. The 2019 St. Louis Blues were the first.
— In the history of the NHL, NBA and MLB, 407 teams have trailed a series 3-0. And only five have come back to win. NHL teams are 4-206, MLB teams are 1-39 while NBA teams are 0-157. If the Oilers complete the comeback it will be historic and will be remembered for decades, and many believe it will be the greatest modern day comeback in sports history.


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