June 25th, 2024

Oilers confident they can rebound against Panthers

By The Canadian Press on June 10, 2024.

Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, center, defends the goal against Edmonton Oilers left wing Zach Hyman (18) during the first period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals, Saturday, June 8, 2024, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

SUNRISE, Fla. – The Florida Panthers were badly outshot and at times badly outplayed, but they still found a way to beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-0 in Saturday’s opening game of the Stanley Cup final.

Netminder Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 32 shots to post the shutout and silence the Oilers’ offence and power play.

The Oilers, who will look to even the best-of-seven series on Monday night at Amerant Arena, insisted there were a lot of positives to take away from Game 1, including ideas how to be even better in Game 2.

Edmonton netminder Stuart Skinner, who made 15 saves in the opener, said his team was “amazing for the whole game.” And forward Zach Hyman said “if we play like we did (Saturday), we’re very confident in our group.”

Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk said he was thrilled his team won Game 1 on home ice, and believed his team can play even better.

“They played well, we played well enough to win, just really grinded it out, played really well defensively,” said Tkachuk.

The fact Florida won despite being second-best for large chunks of Game 1, however, has to be a concern.

“They’re just going to be better,” Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch said. “We’ll see more from them.”

Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov said there’s an urgency to get to their own level quicker on Monday.

“We know we need to be better,” he said. “Edmonton is an unbelievable team, they have so much skill in their lineup. It’s going to be tough.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 10, 2024.

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