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Stanley Cup Final Game Three: Kiss of Death

The Florida Panthers move within one win of capturing their very first Stanley Cup

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 30 days ago 3 min read

For the first time in three years, the Stanley Cup Final headed across the northern border to Canada. For the first time in 18 years, the Cup Final emanated from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. However, the Oilers were on the wrong end of a 2-0 Cup Final, and history states that 2-0 is hard to come back from in the final round. Only five teams have done it, and it hasn't been accomplished since 2011, when the Boston Bruins won four out of five after losing the first two games of that year's Cup Final.

Goals have not been plentiful for the Oilers. They have lit the lamp only once in this series, though at least that goal gave them an in-game lead. Usually, home cooking helps when a team needs to get back in a series. Let's see how it fared for the Oilers in Game Three.

Stuart Skinner was in net for the Oilers against Sergei Bobrovsky, and we saw Leon Draisaitl and Aleksandar Barkov take the opening faceoff. Seriously, the Oilers should send their usual check to the NHL for bailing them out yet again and not suspending Draisaitl when he should have been out for this game. More on him later. The shots were pretty close, then Edmonton had the first power play thanks to Barkov committing Delay of Game. PP was killed off, but they got another one on a soft slashing call. That was killed off as well, but the Oilers took the shots lead as a result. Despite this, after matching minors were called, the Panthers struck first, and it was their 50+ goal man, Sam Reinhart. Barkov and Gustav Forsling had the helpers, and Florida ended up taking their 1-0 lead to intermission.

Edmonton tied it up very early in the second period; Warren Foegele lit the lap at 1:49, with the only assist coming from Adam Henrique. The Oilers were pressing for the go-ahead goal, but in the heart of the period, Vladimir Tarasenko gave the Panthers the lead back. This was followed by Sam Bennett making it 3-1, with Matthew Tkachuk assisting. Less than two minutes later, Barkov scored with Reinhart and Evan Rodrigues assisting. When the final horn sounded in Period 2, it was 4-1 Panthers.

It was over, and then it almost wasn't.

The Oilers needed something...fast. Phillip Broberg did get something started, cutting Edmonton's deficit to two goals at the 6:02 mark. Darnell Nurse and Connor McDavid were on the board with assists. Then, at 14:43, it was Ryan McLeod. McDavid and Brett Kulak with the helpers. The deficit was cut to one, and Edmonton had plenty of time to tie it. Skinner was pulled for the extra attacker, but the Panthers stood tall, not giving their opponents an inch.

The Florida Panthers won Game Three, 4-3, and they are now one win away from their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. The Panthers have won six straight games since falling behind 2-1 in the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers. So it looks like the NHL will again crown a first-time champion, which would mark the second straight and the fourth in the last seven years. The Oilers outshot Florida, 35-23, but again, all they did was make Sergei Bobrovsky look good. McDavid added two more assists to give him three in this series, but the main story is Leon Draisaitl. He has been bone dry in this series, not a single point. That's absolutely catastrophic.

A 2-0 deficit in the Cup Final is impossible to overcome. A 3-0 deficit? Forget it. Only the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs pulled off a reverse sweep in the Stanley Cup Final, but let's face it, the Oilers will never be as good as the Leafs. This is the first Cup Final to have a 3-0 lead since 2021, but only the second to have such a series score in the last 12 years. There hasn't been a Cup Final sweep since 1998. The Panthers are one win away from bringing out the brooms.

Game Four of the Stanley Cup Final will take place on Saturday in Edmonton. The arena will be full of hopeful Oilers fans, and excited Panthers fans. You know who else will be in Edmonton on Saturday? Lord Stanley.

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

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Comments (3)

  • Philip Gipson29 days ago

    I'm very happy that I got to read up on this one.

  • Cathy holmes29 days ago

    Edmonton is cooked. While I expected Florida to win, I hoped the Oilers would at least put up a fight. Oh well. Go Leafs Go.

Clyde E. DawkinsWritten by Clyde E. Dawkins

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