SUNRISE — The Edmonton Oilers may have Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but the Panthers countered with the likes of Niko Mikkola and Kevin Stenlund on Monday night.
It was a night those two should remember.
The Oilers certainly will.
Spurred on by two goals from Mikkola and a go-ahead shot from Stenlund, the Panthers won their sixth straight game on home ice as they beat the Oilers 5-3 in front of another sellout crowd at The Bank.
Florida (12-5-1) has now won its past two games and seven of the past eight.
The Oilers, who led 2-0 in the first, are 5-11-1 and went 0-2 on their Florida trip.
On Monday night, the Panthers watched McDavid scored the opener with Evander Kane making it 2-0 before he started his own personal parade to the penalty box.
Florida got its first goal on a Carter Verhaeghe goal courtesy of a power play set in motion by Kane.
The Panthers tied it at 2 with 407 left in the first on a strange play which led to Mikkola scoring.
Florida’s strong push, which was evident throughout the game, created that second goal of the night as Zach Hyman lost his stick in defending the zone. When it appeared Edmonton had control and was going to clear the puck, Hyman raced to his bench to retrieve a new stick.
Only that clearing pass hit him in the back, stayed in the zone and was picked up by Florida.
By the time Hyman got back in the slot, Mikkola had already scored.
Down 3-2 after McDavid got his second on a penalty shot, the Panthers tied it when Mikkola’s odd-angled shot hit goalie Calvin Pickard’s downed pad — but slipped through and ricocheted off his skate and through.
The Panthers got their first lead of the night on another aggressive charge in the Edmonton zone with Stenlund hopping on a thick rebound from the right circle.
Sam Bennett added the final goal of the night into an empty net with 42.6 seconds left.
— Mikkola came into the season with a total of five goals and had a career-high three goals in 2021-22 with the Blues; through his first 18 games with the Panthers, he now has three goals.
— Stenlund is close to tying his career-high in goals as he now has five this season.
GOALS OF THE GAME
- Oilers 1, Panthers 0 (5:59, 1st): Moments after Gus Forsling goes off a post, Connor McDavid rifles one in from the right circle. You ain’t stopping that, kids.
- Oilers 2, Panthers 0 (9:00, 1st): Evander Kane is alone in the slot and sends a wrister past Sergei Bobrovsky.
- Oilers 2, Panthers 1 (10:36, 1st PP): Not long after scoring, Kane goes to the box for roughing; Carter Verhaeghe makes it count for the Panthers, sniping from the slot.
- Panthers 2, Oilers 2 (15:53, 1st): In a wild sequence of events, Edmonton fails to clear the zone and Niko Mikkola scores on a low shot from the left circle to tie things up.
- Oilers 3, Panthers 2 (5:00, 2nd PS): Forsling tripped up McDavid on a breakaway and he was awarded a penalty shot. Everyone knew how that was going to go.
- Panthers 3, Oilers 3 (6:08 2nd): Mikkola gets his second of the night as he threw up an odd-angled shot which clipped the pad of Calvin Pickard, got behind him and went off his skate and across the line.
- Panthers 4, Oilers 3 (13:42, 2nd): The Panthers get their first lead on a terrific job of attacking Edmonton deep in the zone with Kevin Stenlund jumping on a fat rebound and shooting from the right circle.
- Panthers 5, Oilers 3 (19:17, 3rd EN): Sam Bennett gets his first of the season.
FHN’S 3 STARS OF THE GAME
1. Niko Mikkola, Florida
2. Connor McDavid, Edmonton
3. Kevin Stenlund, Florida
PANTHERS ON DECK
BOSTON BRUINS @ FLORIDA PANTHERS
- When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.
- Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
- TV/Streaming: TNT, HBO Max
- Radio: WAXY 790-AM; 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
- Last Season — Regular Season: Tied 2-2; Playoffs: Florida won 4-3 (first-round)
- This season — Bruins Lead 1-0: @Boston 3, Florida 2 OT (Oct.30), April 6; @Florida Wednesday, March 26
- All-time Regular Season Series: Boston leads 61-37-7, 6 ties
- All-time Postseason Series: Florida leads 2-0 (1996, 2023)
- Up Next for the Panthers: Friday vs. Winnipeg, 7 p.m.