July 25th, 2024

Oilers force Game 7 of Stanley Cup final with 5-1 win over Panthers

By Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press on June 21, 2024.

Edmonton Oilers' Zach Hyman (18) celebrates his goal with teammate Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) as Florida Panthers' Gustav Forsling (42) looks on during the second period of Game 6 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup final in Edmonton, Friday, June 21, 2024.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

EDMONTON – The Oilers are one win from history. The Panthers are one loss from infamy.

Zach Hyman scored his playoff-leading 16th goal and Stuart Skinner made 20 saves as Edmonton defeated Florida 5-1 on Friday to force Game 7 in the Stanley Cup final.

Warren Foegele, with a goal and an assist, and Adam Henrique provided the rest of the offence before Ryan McLeod and Darnell Nurse added empty netters for the Oilers, who have stormed back with three consecutive victories to tie the title series after going down 3-0.

Aleksander Barkov replied for the Panthers – a group that will head home searching for answers with their stranglehold on hockey’s holy grail having evaporated. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 16 shots.

Game 7 goes Monday in Sunrise, Fla.

Edmonton is looking to become only the fifth team in NHL history to win a best-of-seven showdown after trailing 3-0 – and just the second in the Cup final, joining the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs.

A victory by the Oilers in the final game of the 2023-24 season would also mark the end to Canada’s 30-year Cup drought dating back to the 1993 Montreal Canadiens’ victory over Wayne Gretzky’s Los Angeles Kings.

The orange-and-blue party around Rogers Place started in the hours before the 6 p.m. local time puck drop.

Well-lubricated fans lined up for blocks around the arena for a spot in the outdoor viewing area and others crowded bars and patios in the sunshine with their hockey team still playing on the second day of summer, while one group drove an Oilers-themed Zamboni around the streets in the city’s downtown core.

The raucous atmosphere inside the rink hit a fever pitch when the Oilers hit the ice, with the scoreboard sound meter hitting 113.8 decibels ahead of the latest NHL game ever played in Canada during a non-pandemic season.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 21, 2024.

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