July 14, 2024

Panthers vs. Oilers Stanley Cup Game 3 live updates: How Florida defeated Edmonton to take 3-0 series lead

The Panthers won Game 3 and are one win away from Stanley Cup sweep.

How Panthers pulled within a win of Stanley Cup sweep of Oilers

EDMONTON — As the Florida Panthers repeated over and over Thursday morning, their late arrival into Edmonton on Wednesday night after being delayed by torrential South Florida storms didn’t mean squat. Neither did the rabid pro-Edmonton Oilers crowd or anything else.

“It’s us against everyone,” Matthew Tkachuk said after the morning skate.

And, just as they did in the first three rounds, the Panthers are coming out on top, suddenly one win from the first Stanley Cup sweep since 1998 after Thursday’s 4-3 victory over the Oilers at Rogers Place.

Vladimir Tarasenko, Sam Bennett and Aleksander Barkov scored 6:19 apart in the second period to break open a 1-1 game, and Sergei Bobrovsky was once again exceptional early and finished with 32 saves for his 15th win in the playoffs. Florida is now 7-2 on the road in the postseason.

The Panthers had to fend off a third-period rally from the Oilers when Edmonton got goals by Philip Broberg and Ryan McLeod. Bobrovsky then robbed McLeod point-blank in the final minutes.

Warren Foegele also scored for the Oilers, and Sam Reinhart had the Panthers’ other goal.

Teams that own a 3-0 series lead in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final own an all-time record of 27-1 (.964). The Toronto Maple Leafs rallied from a 3-0 hole against the Detroit Red Wings in 1942.

Why Leon Draisaitl wasn’t suspended for Game 2 hit

Florida Panthers Aleksander Barkov captain missed the final 9:28 of Monday’s game after taking a hard, high hit from Leon Draisaitl along the boards. Barkov initially tried to get up off the ice, before falling again, which raised alarm bells about his potential availability moving forward with the Panthers just two wins away from winning their first Stanley Cup championship.

However, Barkov avoided a broken jaw on the play, according to a league source, and skated without any extra facial protection at the Panthers’ practice facility on Wednesday morning before the team eventually traveled north to Edmonton.

There was at least the possibility Edmonton might have lost Draisaitl to suspension because of his role in the incident, although the NHL’s Department of Player Safety ultimately ruled that it didn’t rise to that level.

According to sources familiar with the decision-making process, the DoPS didn’t like that Draisaitl’s right forearm came up while delivering the check or that he left his feet in the process. But they also didn’t see it as a “chicken wing”-type hit where a player fully extends his arm and elbow with the clear intent of catching an opponent’s head.

It worked in Draisaitl’s favor that he has no prior suspension history and also that this is the Stanley Cup Final.

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