After blowout loss in Game 4, Panthers keeping emotions in check with Stanley Cup in sight

Jordan McPherson, Miami Herald on

Published in Hockey

Make no mistake about it: The Florida Panthers know they were far from their best on Saturday in their first chance to clinch the Stanley Cup. The final score, an 8-1 blowout at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, paints that picture clearly.

Florida deviated from its game too much. The shutdown defense was nowhere to be seen. The Oilers rushed and rushed and rushed some more and seemingly found a way to score each time they had a good opportunity in front of them.

“We didn’t play as well as we wanted to,” Panthers captain Aleskander Barkov said. “So that’s the end result. We lost.”

But the Panthers aren’t going to let one loss define this series. Losses happen, even blowouts. They still lead the best-of-7 set 3-1 with their second chance to win the series — and the first Stanley Cup in franchise history — coming at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Amerant Bank Arena.

They are, however, going to learn from it.

At this point, that’s really all they can do. They can’t worry about what could have been, but they can correct the mistakes that happened.


“It’s all about us and the team to manage the losses,” Barkov said. “Obviously it only counts as one win [for Edmonton]. It doesn’t matter how much you lose — 2-1 or 8-1. We need to bounce back.”

The Panthers have shown a knack for doing just that in the playoffs. They have only lost consecutive games once this postseason — a pair of overtime losses to the New York Rangers in Games 2 and 3 of the Eastern Conference final. Florida had rattled off six consecutive wins since those defeats before losing on Saturday.

“We haven’t lost a game in a while until tonight,” Panthers star winger Matthew Tkachuk said postgame. “At the end of the day, just back to the drawing board. We win, we learn from it and we put it aside. We lose, same thing. We’re in an unbelievable spot right now.”

They have also delivered a big blow in the game immediately following a big loss.


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