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2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Oilers at Panthers, Game 2: In Bobrovsky They Trust



Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, pictured here before Game 2 against Vegas last year, made 32 saves in a 3-0 shutout of the Oilers on Saturday night. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

FORT LAUDERDALE — When the Florida Panthers talked about their 3-0 victory against the Edmonton Oilers in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, a lot of the discussion was about how the team could improve. Except when it comes to Sergei Bobrovsky.

Connor McDavid and the high-powered Edmonton offense generated a ton of chances in Game 1 — 33 scoring chances and 18 high-danger chances on 32 shots on goal, to be exact — but Bobrovsky was brilliant in the shutout victory.

The Panthers want to do a better job in front of him in Game 2.

“We absolutely take pride in the job and the challenge,” Aaron Ekblad said. “They got a few chances, so I don’t think we necessarily shut them down. We’re confident in what Bob can do behind us, which is huge.

“So, that gives us the opportunity to have courage, have good gaps and our forwards with their back pressure. The six-man unit it takes to take on players like that is what it ultimately comes down to.”

McDavid had six of Edmonton’s 32 shots on goal and proved to be a thorn in the side of Florida’s usual defensively-sound system.

He blew past defenders with speed multiple times to generate chances, but Bobrovsky was equally as good, coming up with highlight reel saves to keep him and the Oilers off the board.

“It’s obviously a challenge. When he’s buzzing around and coming at you, you just have to keep your legs moving,” Niko Mikkola said. “He is going to make plays and sometimes he’ll dangle you, but that’s why we have a Bobby.”

The Panthers have had success with shutting down the opposing team’s big guns throughout this year’s postseason.

Nikita Kucherov, David Pastrnak and Artemi Panarin combined for just two goals in their playoff series with Florida.

But a team with McDavid and Leon Draisaitl — two Hall of Fame-caliber players who routinely sit at the top of the league in points  — not to mention playoff-leader Zach Hyman, this is a different animal to deal with.

“I don’t want to be disrespectful to the other three rounds that we played because we’re talking about Kucherov and Pastrnak, and they are brilliant, brilliant players, but this is a slightly bigger caliber,” coach Paul Maurice said.

“I’d say magnum caliber, the hunters out there will appreciate, but yeah, this is a different caliber. So, the idea of shutting them down isn’t realistic.

“I will say the same things that every coach that has ever been up here does — we have to limit their time and space — and there’s a reason for it. We have to try to limit what they can do and they will put a limit on our best players.”

Florida leads Best-of-7 Series 1-0
  • When: Monday, 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
  • Local Betting Odds — Panthers Favored: Money Line (-135); Puck line (-1.5, +175); Over/Under 5.5 (-110/-110). Series Panthers -250
  • Series Schedule, All Games 8 p.m. on ABC — Game 1: @Florida 3, Edmonton 0; Game 2: Edmonton at Florida, Monday; 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


23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov // 13 Sam Reinhart

17 Evan Rodrigues // 9 Sam Bennett // 19 Matthew Tkachuk

23 Eetu Luostarinen // 15 Anton Lundell // 10 Vladimir Tarasenko

18 Steven Lorentz // 82 Kevin Stenlund // 8 Kyle Okposo

42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad

77 Niko Mikkola //  62 Brandon Montour

91 Oliver Ekman-Larsson // 7 Dmitry Kulikov

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

41 Anthony Stolarz

Scratched: Nick Cousins, Ryan Lomberg, Tobias Bjornfot, Uvis Balinskis, Josh Mahura, Jonah Gadjovich, Spencer Knight, Rasmus Asplund, Mike Benning, Magnus Hellberg, Matt Kiersted, Will Lockwood, Mackie Samoskevich, Justin Sourdif, Patrick Giles


93 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins // 97 Connor McDavid // 18 Zach Hyman

91 Evander Kane // 29 Leon Draisaitl // 55 Dylan Holloway

37 Warren Foegele // 71 Ryan McLeod // 90 Corey Perry

13 Mattias Janmark // 19 Adam Henrique // 28 Connor Brown

14 Mattias Ekholm // 2 Evan Bouchard

25 Darnell Nurse // 73 Vincent Desharnais

86 Philip Broberg // 27 Brett Kulak

74 Stuart Skinner

30 Calvin Pickard

Scratched: Sam Carrick, Derek Ryan, Sam Gagner, Cody Ceci

Injured: Troy Stecher (ankle)

Edmonton Oilers Lines Courtesy NHL.Com

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Duke del Valle

Hoping for a lot fewer penalties, at least one successful power play conversion, and a more forceful, balanced defensive presence tonight. Tilt that ice toward Skinner’s net as much as possible.

Enjoy the game, everyone.

Go Cats!


We definitely need to take advantage and get in Skinner’s head. Goaltending experience is our largest advantage. Definitely need more offensive zone pressure.


Maybe I can say definitely one more time.

Duke del Valle



We need to start on time tonight, we really didn’t get going untill about 14 minutes into the second period last game, I wouldn’t change ANYTHING else. Just get our game going from the first drop of the puck. Lets go CATS!!!

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