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2024 Stanley Cup Final

Panthers Back Home in South Florida, Ready to Resume Cup Final



Florida panthers
Florida Panthers captain Sasha Barkov is pictured in the first period of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night in Edmonton. (Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire)

The Florida Panthers and Oilers flew back to town on Sunday after the Stanley Cup Final was extended to Game 5 following Edmonton’s 8-1 win the night before.

Florida coach Paul Maurice remained in an upbeat mood despite the loss, saying Sunday that even though the Panthers came to win on Saturday, they simply got beat.

Moving on, just like they did when they failed on their first attempt to beat Tampa Bay in the opening round, then against Boston in the second.

“In each of those situations, including (Saturday), you come to the rink to clinch,’’ Maurice said. “That’s first and foremost. Then you get a little reality check and get back to hockey. That will be our goal over the next two days.’’

The Panthers are still in an enviable position: They only need one win with three games to go and they win the Stanley Cup.

Edmonton is trying to be the second team in NHL history (1942 Maple Leafs) to rally from a 3-0 series deficit and would have to win four straight to do so.

Right now, the Oilers have won one.

“They were good, they were fast,” Maurice said, “and we need to be better.’’

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Florida gave up eight goals on Saturday night, the most this season — and more since surrendering nine in last year’s Game 5 of the Final to the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Panthers have been terrific defensively throughout the season and through the playoffs.

Florida has to hope Saturday night was just a one-off and not indicative of anything leaking from their game.

Until Saturday, the Panthers had held Edmonton’s high-flying offensive stars in check.

Connor McDavid not only had a goal but assisted on three others; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also got his first goal of the series. Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman still have not scored, but got two assists on Saturday and were very noticeable throughout.

Edmonton is banking that getting its top players going is key to a potential comeback.

Maurice said he is not worried about that.

“They will have no part of my day tomorrow,’’ Maurice said following the game. “I’m not counting the 5-on-3 (Nugent-Hopkins from Hyman). Yeah, good players and they scored and they will get confidence from that. They’ll feel good.

“And then the puck’s going to drop. I’m not saying they’re not going to feel good the next game, but the puck drops and everything changes then. So, we’re going to rally, we’ll recoup, recover, move forward, get ready. Take 3-1 going home. I’ll come up with better answers, it’ll be good.”

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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