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Instant Reaction: Panthers one win away from Stanley Cup after Game 3 win in Edmonton

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Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
29 days ago
The Florida Panthers are one win away from the Stanley Cup and the Edmonton Oilers are one loss away from being swept.
After taking Games 1 and 2 in Florida, the Panthers rolled into Edmonton and beat the Oilers by a score of 4-3 in Game 3 to take a commanding 3-0 in this series.

What happened…

The Panthers got the first quality scoring chance of the game a few minutes into the first period. Philip Broberg turned the puck over in Edmonton’s zone and Carter Verhaeghe had an open look but Stuart Skinner slid across the crease to make a big save.
The Oilers had a handful of chances in the first period, including two from Connor Brown on the penalty kill. They also had a couple of power-play opportunities but couldn’t get a puck past Sergei Bobrovsky.
Things started to get testy late in the first frame. The Oilers started to get into Bobrovsky’s space more in the latter part of the period and the Panthers took exception.
Matthew Tkachuk and Brett Kulak were both penalized for the scuffle, and the Panthers opened the scoring while the two teams played at four-on-four. The Oilers turned the puck over at Florida’s blueline and the Panthers came up ice and capitalized. Gustav Forsling had plenty of time and space to fire a perfectly placed shot-pass through the crease that Sam Reinhart was able to deflect past Skinner.
That lead didn’t last long as Warren Foegele tied the game a couple of minutes into the second period. He was sprung on a breakaway and sniped a shot glove side on Bobrovsky to even the score at 1-1.
The Oilers continued to put pressure on the Panthers after Foegele’s goal but Bobrovsky denied multiple scoring opportunities. Florida then stole Edmonton’s momentum with a go-ahead goal that came on a fairly innocuous play. Anton Lundell rimmed the puck around the boards, Eetu Luostarinen directed in front, and Vladimir Tarasenko buried it past Skinner.
The Panthers extended their lead to 3-1 a few minutes later. The Oilers weren’t able to break the puck out of their own zone, Darnell Nurse turned it over while trying to carry it out from behind the net, and Sam Bennett roofed a shot over Skinner.
Just over a minute later, the Panthers scored again to make the score 4-1. Evan Rodrigues and Aleksander Barkov moved up the ice on a two-on-one and Florida’s captain ripped a shot between Skinner’s blocker and the post to cushion his team’s lead.
The energy was sucked out of the building because of Florida’s three-goal rally in the second period but the Oilers managed to make things interesting in the third. Connor McDavid passed the puck from behind the net to the point and Philip Broberg fired his second goal of the playoffs past Bobrovsky to make the score 4-2.
The Oilers brought the score to 4-3 with just over five minutes left to play in the third period. Brett Kulak threw a puck on goal from the blueline and Ryan McLeod deflected it past Bobrovsky.

Things worth mentioning…

Only four times in NHL history has a team come back from down 3-0 to win a best-of-seven playoff series. The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs are the only one of the four to do so in the Stanley Cup Final.
There hasn’t been a sweep in the Stanley Cup Final since the late 1990s. Ken Holland’s Detroit Red Wings won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1997 and 1998 and the team swept the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals in both Finals.
The goals from Foegele and McLeod were the second of the playoffs for both players. For Forgele, it was his first goal since Game 1 of the first round against the L.A. Kings. Kris Knoblauch noted before the game that the Oilers needed to get some scoring from their depth forwards and both Foegele and McLeod came through.
Unfortunately for the Oilers, it takes more than depth scoring to beat the Panthers. Florida completely shut down Edmonton’s top forwards, as Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Zach Hyman, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins combined for just two points in Game 3.
Sergei Bobrovsky was rock-solid yet again for the Panthers, as he stopped 32 of the 35 shots that Edmonton threw his way. He’s allowed only four goals through three games in this series and should be the leading candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Up next… The Oilers will host the Panthers for Game 4 on Saturday in Edmonton. The Panthers will be looking to win their first Stanley Cup in team history and the Oilers will be trying to stay alive.

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