Home Sports Stanley Cup Final: Oilers ‘ready for the moment’ as they try to force Game 7 vs. Panthers

Stanley Cup Final: Oilers ‘ready for the moment’ as they try to force Game 7 vs. Panthers

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The Oilers hope to become the second team in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup after trailing 3-0 in the Cup final. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

The last thing a team wants to do in a playoff series is give its opponent hope. Any door slightly ajar should be closed immediately.

The Florida Panthers have had two opportunities to finish off the Edmonton Oilers and win their first Stanley Cup title. But Sergei Bobrovsky has been sidelined (.769 save percentage) and Connor McDavid used Games 4 and 5 to show everyone that his team isn’t going down without a fight, and that he can lead them back in this series with back-to-back Nights of four points.

McDavid said before Game 5 in Florida that the Oilers wanted to drag the Panthers “back to Alberta.” That meant another game and another 2,500-mile flight.

He got his wish, and while Panthers head coach Paul Maurice can say there’s also pressure on Edmonton right now, his team is the one that doesn’t want to lose a third straight game and leave the series in the hands of a winner. . the entire Game 7 that could have unfortunate historical consequences for his franchise.

“When you have nothing to lose, that gives you freedom. When you have something to protect, sometimes you feel pressure to protect it,” Maurice said Thursday. “So now there’s a free night in this series. I think the pressure is tighter (between us).”

The Panthers will remain confident heading into Game 6 on Friday (8 p.m. ET; ABC). The Stanley Cup will be at Rogers Place waiting to be presented to the Panthers should they win. The greasers have seen his Confidence is growing with two big wins and their captain, McDavid, playing at his usual otherworldly level.

The Oilers hope to become the second team in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup after trailing 3-0 in the Cup final. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Small mistakes are magnified in this scenario and the Panthers know which areas they need to improve to get back to playing like they did before in the series. Florida pushed to get back to Game 5 without success, but the players saw that despite the effects on the scoreboard, they had not completely lost the game.

“We’re that team. I mean, we’ve been that team all year,” Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk said. “We had a little lapse in Game 4 here for a period and a half. But for the most part, we’ve been pretty consistent. We really like our 5-on-5 game. We’re comfortable against anyone in the world with it.”

Only one NHL team, the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, has ever won the Cup after losing 3-0 in the Cup final. The Oilers aim to be the second to do so.

“There is no group that is more prepared for this moment than this one,” McDavid said.

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: Panthers at Oilers | Friday, June 21, 8 pm ET (ABC, ESPN+)
*Game 7: Oilers on Panthers | Monday, June 24, 8 pm ET (ABC, ESPN+)

(*if necessary)

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