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Stanley Cup Final Game Two: Good Vibes

The Florida Panthers strike at the right time in Game Two of the Cup Final

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 3 days ago 3 min read

In Game One of this year's Stanley Cup Final, the Florida Panthers dominated the Edmonton Oilers with a 3-0 shutout win at home. For the first time in the team's 31-year history, the Panthers had a lead in the Cup Final. So what would they do for an encore in Game Two?

It was Sergei Bobrovsky vs Stuart Skinner, and for the most part, Skinner had to be put to work. Why? Because the Oilers didn't have a shot for a majority of the period. After dominating in shots in Game One, the Oilers couldn't find the net. To make matters worse for Edmonton, they would be shorthanded for five minutes. A kneeing major penalty committed by Warren Foegele (who also received a game misconduct) resulted in a five minute power play for the Panthers. However, Oliver Ekman-Larsson received a tripping penalty, so that definitely helped the Oilers on the PK. What also helped: Mattias Ekholm's goal. Ekholm received the pass from Connor McDavid, and shot it past Bobrovsky, to give the Oilers their first lead in this year's Final.

For McDavid, the assist marked his first ever Cup Final point, and after that, the rest of the major was killed off. The first 20 minutes ended with the Oilers up 1-0, but they were shorthanded in the tail end of that frame. The kill was completed in the second period, and it did look like the Panthers would struggle offensively, until Niko Mikkola tied it up in the middle of the period. Anton Lundell and Vladimir Tarasenko (the latter being part of the Blues' Stanley Cup Championship run in 2019) assisted, and 1-1 was the score after 40 minutes.

I found myself hoping for overtime even with 20 minutes left in regulation. I mean, overtime in Cup Final games has been kinda rare lately. Last year had one game, 2022 had two, and 2021 had only one. Then at 3:11 into the third period, Evan Rodrigues scored to make it 2-1 Panthers. Honestly, at that moment, I knew it was over. But E-Rod was not done, as he would score on the power play nine minutes later. Get this. With over five minutes left, and on a 4-on-4 situation, Skinner was pulled for the extra attacker. I couldn't help but laugh at this. This was pure arrogance by the Oilers. That team fully expected their high powered unit to tie the game easily. They even got a power play out of it after a delay of game penalty. Nothing. Not just nothing, but Aaron Ekblad shot it into the empty net.

The Panthers won Game Two, 4-1, and they are now two wins away from their first Stanley Cup. The hero of this game was none other than Evan Rodrigues with a pair of goals, and I couldn't help but be overjoyed by this, as Rodrigues was with the Colorado Avalanche last year. It sucks that we couldn't get him there last year, but I'm happy he's there now, and he is killing it. Three goals in the 2024 Final, after going so many games without one. Here's a fun fact I read before the Final started. The first name, Evan, has never been featured on the Stanley Cup. It will this year, as each team has one--Evan Rodrigues with the Panthers, and Evan Bouchard with the Oilers. From the looks of it, Rodrigues will be hoisting that Cup soon.

28 years ago today, Florida Panthers fans were not celebrating. On this day in 1996, the Panthers were swept out of the Cup Final by the Colorado Avalanche. Now, on June 10, 2024, the Panthers are having their most successful season in franchise history, as they are two wins away from the Stanley Cup. History is definitely on the Panthers' side. For one, they have never lost a series when they lead 2-0. Secondly, teams who lead 2-0 in the Cup Final have gone on to win it 91% of the time. The last time a team lost the Final with a 2-0 lead was in 2011, the famous series between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins.

On the flipside, the Oilers are in deep, deep trouble. Only one goal in this series. At least Connor McDavid has a point. The same cannot be said for Leon Draisaitl. History isn't on the Oilers' side, and along with those previous facts, here's another one: The Oilers are 1-9 in series after trailing 2-0. Yeah, that's no good.

Game Three is Thursday in Edmonton.

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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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  • Philip Gipson3 days ago

    This article about the current Stanley Cup Games is completely on the mark.

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