Panthers Lead Series As Bob Shuts Down Oilers In Stanley Cup Opener

Panthers Series Oilers Stanley

Credit: Florida Panthers (x)

Sunrise, FL – For the first time in franchise history, the Florida Panthers have a series lead in the Stanley Cup Final as they shut down the Edmonton Oilers by 3-0 in Game One.

By Any Means

While it may not have looked like the Panthers’ type of hockey we’re used to in the postseason, Florida did what they had to do, took the lead first, and never looked back. Edmonton played solid hockey but still couldn’t get by Sergei Bobrovsky, who recorded 32 saves and a whole lot of nail-biters.

The Oilers outshot the Panthers in this game – 32 to 18 – a rarity in this postseason for a Panthers team that has not won the two games where this happened previously. Still, the shots they did land on Skinner were efficient, and they did what Edmonton couldn’t do – land them.

The first goal of the game came only four minutes in when some back-and-forth passing from Aleksander Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe wrapped up with a wrister from Swaggy to get the Cats on the board.

A high-sticking penalty on Verhaeghe with seconds to go in the first period meant that Florida’s efficient penalty kill had to put the work in for a couple of minutes in the second. And like clockwork, a rush to the net afterward was capped off with a slapshot from Evan Rodrigues to give the Cats a cushion.

The Opposition

All the while, Connor McDavid led multiple fastbreak opportunities for Edmonton, but the Panthers’ defense kept him quiet, and a total of 63 hits on the night by Florida battered and bruised them in the process.

The third period flew by to the detriment of a desperate Oilers team. They eventually took out Skinner, but an empty netter from Eetu Loustarinen with seconds to go sent the rats flying to the ice and securing a 3-0 shutout win for Florida.

The Wrap Up

Barkov wrapped up the night with two assists and solid defensive play all around, while Sam Bennett racked up 11 hits on the night, including a big one on McDavid that set the tone. And to cap it all off, Bobrovsky recorded a shutout for the second straight series in Game One.

The Panthers will look to extend their series lead in Game Two, which is this upcoming Monday at 8pm.

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