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2024 Stanley Cup Final

Florida Panthers Want to Keep the Stanley Cup Right Where It Is



Panthers cup
The Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy will be at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise tonight — and the Florida Panthers want to keep it in town.

FORT LAUDERDALE — After a blowout loss in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Florida Panthers have another chance to get off the mat and take home the world’s most famous trophy in Game 5 on Tuesday night.

But in their minds, the only thing on their mind is the sole goal of winning a game against the Edmonton Oilers.

That is what they say, anyway.

Certainly easier said than done when the ultimate goal of lifting the Stanley Cup is sitting right there for the Panthers in their building.

“It’s different,” coach Paul Maurice said of the feeling going into a potential Cup-clinching game.

“There is the feeling of the goal now sits in front of the game that is played. So in Game 3, the goal is behind the game, you can’t win it tonight and the game is much better. But when you can, it sits in front of the game and you got to break through or figure out a way to get it behind the game again as far as what’s foremost in your head coming into the rink.

“There’s just not a lot of places to experience it until you get in there. Sometimes it’s one or two games a year for one or two teams, it’s hard to grab that through experience. So we went through it, we were fortunate to get a 3-game lead, so we’re going to have the opportunity to feel that [at most] four times, so we’re going to have an opportunity to learn.”

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In Game 4, it was clear the Panthers put the cart before the horse.

They looked for the kill shot quickly, got burned on the other end on a quick rush chance, and continued to play loose for the entire game as the star-studded Oilers picked them apart.

Lesson learned.


“I think we needed to go through that experience,” Maurice said. “We would’ve traded the experience for a win to be honest, but then you have to kind of embrace that learning and this is true of sports: there are things you learn but you don’t necessarily get to keep them.

“They have to be constantly tested, constantly relearned. Or the extreme ideas, one team would win the Super Bowl and they learned how, nobody else gets to win a Super Bowl then, forever. It’s the same team for the next 25 years. You have to constantly relearn and that’s what today was.”

Edmonton is going to come out looking to exploit that again, but Florida got a kick to the rear on Saturday night.

Both teams will bring their best.

“We just want to build off our first three games when I feel like we played with a tighter gap,” Gus Forsling said. “We let them off the hook in the fourth game, didn’t play as tight as we wanted as a team and it starts with me and all the defensemen.”

The thought of winning the Cup right then and there got in the way of what has worked for the Panthers all season: A tight gap defensively with a heavy, relentless forecheck that was squeezed the life out of many a opponent.

They want to go back to what works in Game 5.

“I think you learn from it. I think the nerves are a little bit less right now and I think you just go in trying to play the same way,” Carter Verhaeghe said. “We can’t change what got us here. We’ve been playing this way all year, we’ve gone through a lot of adversity, ups and downs, and that’s what happens in the playoffs.

“Yeah, it’s a little different with the Cup in the building, but I think we’re not really focused on that. We’re just trying to focus on playing as well as we can and giving ourselves he best chance.”

For More FHN Coverage of the Florida Panthers:

Panthers Lead Best of 7 Series 3-1
  • When: Tuesday, 8 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • 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 4, @Edmonton 3; Game 4: @Edmonton 8, Florida 1; Game 5: Edmonton at Florida, Tuesday; Game 6*: Florida at Edmonton, Friday; 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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