Panthers can't overcome another early deficit, lose Game 5 of Stanley Cup Final to Oilers

Jordan McPherson, Miami Herald on

Published in Hockey

The Florida Panthers’ first chance to win the Stanley Cup came up flat when they got blown out in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final in Edmonton.

Their first chance to win it on home ice went the same way.

The Edmonton Oilers cruised to an early three-goal lead that the Panthers couldn’t erase in a 5-3 loss in Game 5 on Tuesday at Amerant Bank Arena. Florida still leads the best-of-7 series but now has to make the cross-continent flight back to Edmonton for Game 6, which is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday at Rogers Place.

“Every time you’re back in Edmonton it seems to get louder and louder when you didn’t expect it could get any louder. That’s the goal. We’re going to try to drag them back to Alberta,” Oilers forward Connor Brown said pregame. “We love playing on home ice, this is going to be a difficult game and that being said, we feel confident in the type of game it’s going to be, with that anticipation of getting back to Alberta.”

They accomplished that, and Brown set the tone with a first-period shorthanded goal when he intercepted a Brandon Montour pass at the point and went the length of the ice uncontested before beating Sergei Bobrovsky on the breakaway. It was the second consecutive game in which Edmonton opened scoring with a shorthanded goal.

The Oilers pushed their lead to 3-0 five minutes into the second period on a Zach Hyman power-play goal and Connor McDavid wide-angle shot at full strength.


Matthew Tkachuk got the Panthers when he took a pass from Evan Rodrigues and fired a wrist shot from the slot to beat Stuart Skinner 6:43 minutes into the period.

Florida and Edmonton then exchanged goals over a 12-second span — first Corey Perry scoring for the Oilers on a power-play goal, then Rodrigues scoring for the Panthers — to put the score at 4-2 Edmonton through two periods.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored 4:04 into the third period to get Florida within a goal but the comeback bid would come now closer despite a slew of close chances in the third. The Oilers sealed the game with a McDavid empty-net goal with 18.7 seconds left on the clock.

Now, it’s on to Game 6.


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