Home Sports Stanley Cup Final: Oilers on verge of historic 3-0 comeback after blowing out Panthers to force Game 7

Stanley Cup Final: Oilers on verge of historic 3-0 comeback after blowing out Panthers to force Game 7

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EDMONTON, ALBERTA - JUNE 21: Zach Hyman #18 and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins #93 of the Edmonton Oilers celebrate as Gustav Forsling #42 and Sergei Bobrovsky #72 of the Florida Panthers react after Hyman's goal during the second period of game six of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Place on June 21, 2024 in Edmonton, Alberta. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The vibes are good for the Oilers right now. The Panthers, not so much. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Edmonton Oilers are one win away from a Stanley Cup title, a historic comeback and the first Canadian championship in 31 years.

As for the Florida Panthers, it has to hurt right now.

With a 5-1 victory in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Oilers became the first team in 78 years to force a Game 7 in an SCF where they were once trailing 3-0. Game 7 is scheduled for Monday at 8 pm ET in Florida (ABC, ESPN+).

A victory in Edmonton would make the team only the second in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup after trailing 3-0, joining the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs’ impressive victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Only four teams total have overcome a 3-0 deficit, the most recent being the 2014 Los Angeles Kings.

The good news for the Panthers is that teams that were once trailing 3-0 are actually 5-4 in Games 7, with the 1945 Maple Leafs resisting a reversal of fortune by the Red Wings. Of course, the lopsided nature of Games 4 through 6 has likely dampened optimism on the Florida side.

It was a familiar story in Game 6, with the Oilers taking a three-goal lead into the second period for the third straight game. That started when Leon Draisaitl found Warren Foegele with a beautiful pass on a breakaway in the first period.

Edmonton took a 2-0 lead 46 seconds into the second period, but then came controversy.

10 seconds after Oilers’ Adam Henrique found the bottom of the netAleksander Barkov seemed to get that goal back with what would have been his second goal of the series.

However, the Oilers disputed the goal, arguing that Sam Reinhart was offside before the goal. Replays showed Reinhart’s skate completely crossed the blue line within milliseconds of crossing the puck, but the referees ultimately decided it was clear enough to disallow the goal.

Panthers coach Paul Maurice was visibly furious after the decision was announced.

While the decision seemed impossible on the ABC broadcast, Sportsnet had an angle that made the change more explainable.

The Oilers scored once again through Zach Hyman late in the second period, leaving the Panthers in a situation where they needed to overcome a 3-0 deficit to avoid blowing a 3-0 lead.

Barkov He made up some ground at the start of the third with a magnificent goal., but that was all Florida would get. Edmonton’s Ryan McLeod scored an empty-net goal with 3:15 left in the game, followed by one more from Henrique for good measure. The Panthers could have made it tougher on the Oilers, but they came up short on three power plays, continuing a string of 46 penalties in 47 shorthanded situations for the Oilers.

Now, to avoid humiliation, the Panthers must completely reverse their performance from the last three games. At least they can say that’s already been done once in this series.

Game 1: Panthers 3, Oilers 0
Game 2: Panthers 4, Oilers 1
Game 3: Panthers 4, Oilers 3
Game 4: Oilers 8, Panthers 1
Game 5: Oilers 5, Panthers 3
Game 6: Oilers 5, Panthers 1
Game 7: Oilers on Panthers | Monday, June 24, 8 pm ET (ABC, ESPN+)

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