Instant Reaction: Oilers fall short in Game 7 as Panthers hoist Stanley Cup

Edmonton Oilers Stanley Cup
Photo credit:Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
29 days ago
The comeback came up short.
The Florida Panthers are Stanley Cup Champions. After coming back from 3-0 down in the Final, the Oilers dropped Game 7 in Florida by a score of 2-1.

What happened…

The opening minutes saw little action until Carter Verhaeghe broke open the scoring 4:27 into the game. Panthers winger Evan Rodrigues took a pass on the wall, circling back towards the point before firing a shot towards the net. Verhaeghe had been left alone in front of the Oilers net, and he was able to deflect the shot going wide past Stuart Skinner.
Florida’s lead didn’t last long, however, as the Oilers Mr. Game 7, Cody Ceci, fired a long stretch pass up the ice to Mattias Janmark. He got a partial breakaway, faking a backhand move to put it over Sergei Bobrovsky’s blocker to tie the game up all of 2:17 later.
Both teams exchanged pushes in the remainder of the first, with the Oilers weathering a storm late in the period. After giving up the early goal, Skinner locked things down for the Oilers with a few big saves.
The Oilers had a response in the second period, however, managing to control the pace of play for the period at even-strength. Edmonton got a power play when Matthew Tkachuk fell to the ice 3:22 into the frame, tripping up Warren Foegele in the process. Edmonton got two shots on net, but couldn’t beat Bobrovsky in the process.
With just under five minutes left in the period, the Oilers had a tremendous look when Warren Foegele drove to the Panthers net from down low. The puck sputtered across the crease, and while Dylan Holloway was on the other side of the net, he couldn’t get a stick on it.
Then, all of a sudden, Florida was pushing down the other end of the ice. Sam Reinhart, who carried the puck into the offensive zone as two linemates drove to the net, was able to fire a puck past Skinner on the short side.
In the third period, it was all Edmonton. They pushed and pushed all period long, but they couldn’t find a way to beat Bobrovsky. They loaded up the top line with Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman, but even the nuclear option couldn’t get the job done on Monday night.
One of the Oilers’ best looks in the third came when McDavid looked to deflect a shot from the high slot, but he couldn’t find a way to deflect it in.
When it’s all said and done, all you can do is tip your hat to the Panthers. They were one loss away from becoming the answer to a trivia question and they played their best game of the series in Game 7. Cheers to the Panthers on their first Stanley Cup.
We’ll be back next year.

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