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2024 Stanley Cup Final

Oilers Want to Drag Panthers ‘Back to Alberta’ in Stanley Cup Final



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Edmonton’s Connor McDavid scores during Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night. (Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire)

SUNRISE — Connor McDavid said following the Edmonton Oilers win over the Florida Panthers in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday that his team’s goal, now, was to “drag them back to Alberta.’’

That quote has become a rallying cry for the Oilers as they go into tonight’s game at Amerant Bank Arena down 3-1 in the best-of-7 series.

Edmonton, which said it had nothing to lose going into Game 4 down 3-0, appears to have that same mindset going into tonight.

A win by Florida tonight means the Stanley Cup stays here with the Panthers.

If Edmonton pulls off a second straight win, Game 6 of this series will be played in Alberta on Friday night.

The Oilers have a 6-hour flight ahead of them regardless. They would like to keep this thing going.

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“It’s exciting, fun to be part of. There’s nothing we’d rather be doing than being right here playing hockey,’’ McDavid said in Sunrise on Tuesday morning. “We don’t want that to end. We’re excited about the opportunity to go in and win a game tonight.”
As for ‘dragging’ the Panthers back with them?
“It’s what we’ve got to do,’’ McDavid continued. “You (media) guys have been doing the flight. It’s a long flight. You guys know what it’s like. It’s not it’s not the most enjoyable flight, so just make them go on one more plane ride, one more flight. That’s what we’ve got to do.”

Said Connor Brown: “Every time you’re back in Edmonton it seems to get louder and louder when you didn’t expect it could get any louder. That’s the goal. We’re going to try to drag them back to Alberta. We love playing on home ice, this is going to be a difficult game and that being said, we feel confident in the type of game it’s going to be, with that anticipation of getting back to Alberta.”

Zach Hyman, the former Florida prospect who never signed with the Panthers, says the Oilers are prepared for a different team than they faced on Saturday night.

The Oilers were more desperate than the Panthers in Game 4 — but that may change back in Sunrise tonight.

“I imagine they will come out flying,’’ Hyman said. “It’s an opportunity for them to win the Cup on home ice so we’re well aware of that. Our job is to come out flying as well. There’s an excitement in our group after winning that game. There’s confidence in our group. So there’s no reason not to come out excited and be up to the task.”

With the pressure seemingly have been taken off the Oilers based on their 0-3 hole, coach Kris Knoblauch has not had to offer much in the way of inspiration to his team.

They understand what is at stake.

“We’ve been really good frame of mind,’’ Knoblauch said. “Our guys feel confident. I said yesterday about my role, I don’t think it’s been very much because the players are in a really good position where they’re loose, their confident, they know their backs are up against the wall.

“They know it’s going to be a difficult task to do this but I don’t think there’s any lack of confidence on being able to do this. we’ve been in very difficult positions before, not in the Stanley Cup Final of course, but yeah, they’re just enjoying it as much as they can.”

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
  • Local Betting Odds — Panthers Favored: Money Line (-145); Puck line (-1.5, +170); Over/Under 5.5 (-110/-120). Series Panthers -1100
  • 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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