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2024 Stanley Cup Final

McDavid Says Pressure Is Off the Edmonton Oilers in Cup Final



Panthers oilers
Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid puts up a shot which beat Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky in the second period of Game 4 on Saturday night. (Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire)

The Edmonton Oilers have dug themselves in a deep hole in the Stanley Cup Final, but star Connor McDavid said the pressure is off his team.

When you’re down 3-0 in a series, there is really nothing left to lose.

McDavid and the Oilers threw everything they had at the Florida Panthers on Saturday night, taking a 5-goal lead into the third before leaving their home fans giddy with an 8-1 win in Game 4.

The Panthers come home holding a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series and can claim the Stanley Cup on Tuesday night in Sunrise.

McDavid said the Oilers were playing fast and loose down 3-0 — and it showed.

“Obviously we needed it, it feels good,’’ he told Hockey Night in Canada after the win. “It feels good to survive another day, go down to Florida and look to do the same.

“We felt like it was going to break, we would find a way to score some goals and we did tonight. We have to repeat it. … There was nothing to panic about. We’re still in a hole but there’s no pressure on us, really. We just need to find a way to get a win in Game 5 and go from there.’’

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McDavid certainly was not the only Edmonton player to convey those thoughts.

It is obviously Edmonton coach Kris Knoblauch had a message to send to his team — and it apparently got through.

“Just one win but we live to fight another day,’’ Zach Hyman said. “It’s been the feeling the whole year, we have been on the ropes for a lot of it. Facing adversity seems to bring out the best in us. One down and we’re off to Florida.

“I think we’re playing free right now, we have nothing to lose any more. We’re just going out there and playing. We have to keep up the pressure on them.”

Florida coach Paul Maurice said the Panthers were not anywhere near there usual selves — they came in winning the previous six playoff games and were trying to pull off the first Final sweep since 1998 — but he is not worried about it.

Those who think Maurice is going to tear his team a new one obviously has not been paying attention.

“It’s the first opportunity we’ve had as a franchise, really, to feel the two days, the excitement of it, the emotion of it,’’ Maurice said of coming in to Game 4 up 3-0 and having the chance to take the Stanley Cup home.

“We’ll learn how to channel that; it’s all part of this process. … You just re-establish your game and you come back in the fight.

“I’ll fire up one cliché for you: We came into Edmonton to get a split and we got what we needed. But there’s also a reason for that. Most cliches have some merit to them. In general, things will be far more extreme outside your room than inside. At 3-0 we’re not sitting there, you know, getting the engravers out. We lost the game tonight, pretty sure, we have to check but there’s going to be a Game 5. And there we go.”

Yes, both the Panthers and Oilers will be flying southeast in the coming days.

Florida is a win away from winning the Cup.

Edmonton still has some work to do — and knows it.

“It’s just one win. That’s all it is,’’ McDavid said. “Doesn’t matter if you score eight or you score one — it’s just one win. We’re going to go to Florida and do a job and try to come back to Alberta.”

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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