Edmonton Oilers fall behind 2-0 in Stanley Cup Final

The Florida Panthers took a 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final with a 4-1 home ice win over the Edmonton Oilers Monday night.

“It’s another opportunity for our group to come together and dig our way out,” said Oiler’s captain Connor McDavid. “It’s supposed to be hard it’s supposed to be difficult and I am excited to see what our group is made of.”

The Panthers recorded the game’s first six shots on net and had a golden opportunity to score first when Warren Foegele was assessed a five-minute major for kneeing Eetu Luostarinen. However, Mattias Janmark was tripped by Oliver Ekman-Larsson while killing the penalty. With the teams playing four-on-four, Mattias Ekholm beat Sergei Bobrovsky on a two-on-one to make it 1-0 Oilers with 8:43 left in the first. It was the Oilers first shot of the game.

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The Panthers carried most of the play in the second and tied it up on a shot by Niko Mikkola with 10:26 left in the period. Stuart Skinner made a big save on Matthew Tkachuk on a two-on-one. On a Panthers power play, he denied a point black look from Sam Bennett. Florida outshot Edmonton 13-3 in the second.

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Early in the third, Evan Rodrigues picked off Evan Bouchard’s clearing attempt and beat Skinner over the blocker. Rodrigues added a power play redirection goal with 7:34 on the clock to make it 3-1 and ended the Oilers consecutive penalty kill streak at 34.

The Oilers pulled Skinner for an extra attacker with 5:53 left and went on the power play not long after when Ekman-Larsson shot the puck over the glass. However, the Oilers couldn’t break through. Aaron Ekblad scored into an empty net with 2:28 to go.

“We gotta be better,” said McDavid. “I thought they went up a level and we didn’t match it today.”

Darnell Nurse barely played after taking a hit from Rodrigues in the first period. Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov didn’t return after taking an elbow from Leon Draisaitl halfway through the third.

The Panthers outshot the Oilers 28-19.

“We just have to take it one game at a time.” said Oiler’s head coach Kris Knoblauch. “I don’t see any reason to panic or do anything drastic.”

The Oilers will host game three on Thursday (630 CHED, Face-off Show at 4 p.m., game at 6 p.m.).

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