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2024 Stanley Cup Final

Rodrigues Helps Florida Panthers Get Closer to the Stanley Cup



Florida panthers
The Florida Panthers, with Vladimir Tarasenko front-and-center, celebrate with their fans after taking a 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night in Sunrise. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

SUNRISE — For the second consecutive game, Evan Rodrigues stole the show for the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.

Rodrigues scored twice in the third period and helped propel the Panthers to a 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers for a 2-0 series lead.

The Panthers had never had a 1-game lead in two previous trips to the Final, much less two.

“It’s special,” Rodrigues said. “I’m just trying to embrace it and stay in the moment. It’s tow big wins for our team and i think we’ve already turned the page and we’re getting ready for Game 3.”

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Rodrigues’ three goals to start the Stanley Cup Final are triple that of the entire Oilers roster — not just Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl — and they came at crucial moments, too.

His first goal of the series was the insurance marker that put the Panthers up by two goals 3:16 into the second period of Game 1.

Rodrigues’ goals in the third period of Game 2 were the eventual game-winning goal and the insurance in spots his team desperately needed.

He is not letting that get to his head.

“It’s pretty cool,” Rodrigues said, when asked what his reaction would’ve been if someone told him he would out-score the likes of McDavid, Draisaitl, Zach Hyman & Co.

“But, I’m not too worried about the point totals or goals. At the end of the day, we’re looking for wins here, and yeah, that’s all I care about. It’s nice to contribute to a win and that’s what we’re here to do. It could be any player on any given day.

“I’m happy with the results we’ve gotten the first two games and we have to start getting ready for Game 3 now.”

Florida trailed for the first time in this series despite dominating play in the opening period before Niko Mikkola scored in the second.

The Panthers took control of things in the third, Rodrigues getting his first when Edmonton defenseman Evan Bouchard put the puck right on his stick and he one-timed it past Stuart Skinner.

Things got ugly midway through the third when Sasha Barkov was taken out by the elbow of Draisaitl.

Florida got the first special teams goal of the series for either team when Rodrigues redirected a pass from Anton Lundell through to make it 3-1.

“Huge. He was huge for us today,’’ Lundell said of Rodrigues. “He scored two big goals at the key time, so obviously he was playing great today and it was fun to watch.”

Aaron Ekblad’s empty-netter iced it.

“He was so good,’’ Matthew Tkachuk said of Rodrigues.

“I’m so happy for him, I’m so proud of him. He was awesome. Playing with him the last few games, he reads the game so well and that’s two games in a row he’s scoring some big goals for us. He is a super-smart player and I’m happy to see him get rewarded right now.”

For More FHN Coverage of the Florida Panthers:

Panthers Lead Best of 7 Series 2-0
  • When: Thursday, 8 p.m.
  • Where: Rogers Place; Edmonton, Alberta
  • National TV: ABC
  • Streaming: ESPN+/Hulu
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Series Schedule, All Games 8 p.m. on ABC — Game 1: @Florida 3, Edmonton 0; Game 2: @Florida 4, Edmonton 1; Game 3: Florida at Edmonton, Thursday; Game 4: Florida at Edmonton, Saturday June 15; Game 5*: Edmonton at Florida, Tuesday June 18; Game 6*:Florida at Edmonton, Friday June 21; Game 7*: Edmonton at Florida, Monday June 24. (*) – If Necessary
  • How They Got Here — Florida: d. Tampa Bay 4-1, Boston 4-2, New York Rangers 4-2; Edmonton: d. Los Angeles 4-1, Vancouver 4-3, Dallas 4-2.
  • This Season (Florida Won 2-0) — At Florida: Panthers 5, Oilers 3 (Nov. 20). At Edmonton: Panthers 5, Oilers 2 (Dec. 17).
  • Last Season: Edmonton Won 2-0
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Oilers lead 23-16-0, 3 ties
  • Postseason History: First Meeting

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Ed Purchase

Knoblauch…low-key D-bag: y/n


Yea, is it me or did he “low key” accuse Leostarinen of faking an injury??

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