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Instant Reaction: Oilers force Game 7 in Florida with huge win at home

Edmonton Oilers Zach Hyman Game 6 Stanley Cup Final
Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
25 days ago
Just like Stuart Skinner said — if anybody can do it, it’s the Oil.
A 5-1 victory at home in Game 6 has Edmonton on the verge of making history. After dropping the first three games of the Stanley Cup Final, the Oilers have stormed back and forced a Game 7 in Florida.

What happened…

The Oilers made a last-minute change to their lineup ahead of Game 6 and it paid off immediately. Warren Foegele was moved to Leon Draisaitl’s wing on the second line and he opened the scoring in the middle part of the first period with his third goal of the playoffs.
Edmonton extended their lead to 2-0 early in the second period. Mattias Ekholm rimmed the puck around the boards and Mattias Janmark and Adam Henrique went into Florida’s zone on a two-on-one. Janmark feathered a pass over to Henrique and he sniped a shot past Sergei Bobrovsky.
The Panthers appeared to cut Edmonton’s lead in half moments later as Aleksander Barkov crashed the net and put his own rebound past Stuart Skinner. The Oilers used their challenge and the goal was called back because of an offside earlier in the play.
The Oilers added to their lead before the end of the second frame. Gustav Forsling tried to throw a shot on goal from the point but it bounced off of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zach Hyman busted up ice on a breakaway. He managed to beat a diving Forsling to the puck, deked out Bobrovsky, and scored with a backhander.
The Panthers got on the board early in the third period. It was Barkov again, and, this time, there was no way the goal was going to be called back. Florida’s captain took a pass inside Edmonton’s blueline, walked into the zone, and tucked the puck past Skinner to make the score 3-1.
Florida pulled Bobrovsky with over three minutes to go in the third period and the Oilers scored twice into the empty net to put the game out of reach. The first came from Ryan McLeod after the puck was chipped out of Edmonton’s zone and the second came from Darnell Nurse immediately after a big save by Skinner.

Things worth mentioning…

The Oilers have opened the scoring in each of their three wins against the Panthers in this series. It was shorthanded goals from Mattias Janmark and Connor Brown in Games 4 and 5 and it was an even-strength goal from Warren Foegele in Game 6. It’s been said many times that the Oilers need depth scoring to be successful and that’s what they’ve had during this comeback.
Zach Hyman’s goal in the second period was his 16th of the playoffs, which is the most scored by anybody in a single playoff run in the salary cap era. Hyman came into the game tied with 2008-09 Sidney Crosby and 2017-18 Alexander Ovechkin with 15 goals. Reggie Leach’s 19 goals with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1975-76 are the most ever in a single playoff run.
Stuart Skinner was rock-solid for the Oilers yet again. After stopping 61 of 65 shots in Games 4 and 5, Skinner turned aside 20 of 21 shots in Game 6 and picked up his third consecutive win. Though most of the attention will be on the third period, arguably the biggest save Skinner made came in the second period shortly before Hyman put the Oilers up by a score of 3-0.
Up next… The series will shift back to Florida for Game 7 on Monday night. The Oilers can become the fifth team in NHL history and the second team in Stanley Cup Final history to come back from 3-0 down and win the series.

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