Panthers, Sergei Bobrovsky stop Oilers

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The Florida Panthers One step closer to their first Stanley Cup championship, and they have goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to thank for Saturday night’s Game 1 victory.

Bobrowski made 32 saves, including Adam Henrique and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in a 3-0 win. Edmonton Oils 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Finals.

The Panthers got goals from Carter Verhehe, Ivan Rodriguez and Etu Lustarinen to earn their second win in three trips to the championship round.

The Oilers found a way to get around the Panthers’ fourcheck, which frustrated other Florida playoff opponents, but they couldn’t capitalize.

Game 2 is Monday night in Sunrise, Florida.

A closer look at Game 1:

It was during the 1995-96 season that Florida’s Scott Mellonby killed a rat at the old Miami Arena. He scored two goals that night, which a teammate called a “rad trick.” Fans started throwing plastic rats onto the ice after goals. The Panthers went to the Stanley Cup Finals that season. The NHL changed the rules to make throwing objects on the ice after a goal subject to a delay of game penalty. Fans were warned Saturday not to throw too much after the team’s empty-net goal.

Eetu Luostarinen scored into an empty net. He missed last year’s final due to injury.

Skinner left for an extra skater. Edmonton calls timeout with 1:21 left.

Edmonton brings out its big guns as much as it can, but the Oilers have just six shots with four minutes left in the third period.

Edmonton’s Corey Perry is called for interception. But the Oilers are killing it to make them perfect in the last 30 short-term situations.

The Oilers use a lineup of Connor McDavid, Leon Trisaitl and Zach Hyman.

Scoring aside, the Oilers have to love what they do. They have seven shots on the power play and are outshooting Florida 26-12. Sergei Bobrovsky breaks the Panthers down with three saves. He’s misplayed a few times, but the Oilers haven’t taken advantage.

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The Panthers came out strong in the third period, outscoring the opposition 24-11.

The Panthers killed Babrowski with an acrobatic look on the penalty kill. But the Panthers should take fewer penalties.

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped Mattias Janmark and had the puck under his pad. Connor Brown knocked the puck into the net and the goalie was immediately ruled a no-goal. A scrum breaks out and two players from each team go into the penalty box. Sam Bennett was called for an interception early on the Oilers’ third power play of the game.

The Panthers broke the penalty and Rodriguez scored at 2:16 after a nice centering feed from Sam Bennett. Bennett hits Cody Ceci. Oilers defensemen Ceci and Darnell Nurse were both on the ice for Florida goals.

The Oilers controlled most of the period and outshot the Panthers 13-4. The reason they’re behind: Sergei Bobrovsky is at the top of his game. Florida goalie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins makes a breakaway during the Edmonton power play. He earlier stopped Adam Henrique on a breakaway.

The Panthers would have to kill another penalty early in the second period after Carter Verhehe high-sticked Evan Bouchard with nine seconds left in the first.

Gustav Forsling, one of Florida’s best penalty killers, made a trip to Connor McDavid. The Oilers’ power play was 37.3% in the game. Penalty kill strong Panthers survive.

Oilers defenseman Matthias Ekholm is called for tripping Florida’s Kyle Okboso at 7:33. Edmonton’s penalty kill, perfect over the last 10 games, killed it.

Aleksandar Barkov makes a good run down the ice and passes Verhaeghe who is alone in front. He scored on Florida’s first shot of the game at 3:59 of the first period. It was his 10th goal in the playoffs.

Starting lineups show Panthers coach Paul Morris will try to match Selke Trophy winner Alexander Fargo with Oilers star Connor McDavid.

Center: Alexander Barkov

Wings: Sam Reinhardt, Carter Verhaeghe

Defensive players: Aaron Ekblad, Gustav Forsling

Goalie: Sergei Bobrovsky

Center: Connor McDavid

Wings: Zach Hyman, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Defensive players: Ivan Bouchard, Matthias Ekholm

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Goalie: Stuart Skinner

When is Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final?

Game 1 is scheduled for Saturday at 8 p.m. ET at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Florida.

How to watch Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals

Game 1 will be shown nationally in the US on ABC. A pregame will be on ESPN2 at 7 pm ET.

How to live stream Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals

Game 1 can be streamed on ESPN+ and services that carry ABC Fubo. The NHL and PXP produce alternative broadcasts dedicated to the deaf community using American Sign Language. You can stream it on ESPN+.

“I’m not going there,” Oilers captain Connor McDavid said when ABC asked him to finish the sentence: “If the Oilers win the Stanley Cup …”

But McDavid had more praise for the Panthers: “They skate well, they’re aggressive, they’re good on the forecheck, they defend well, they do a lot of good things. The finals are two teams that obviously play well. It’s going to be a good test.”

Five. They won in 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1990 and reached the final in 1983 and 2006.

No. They previously reached the final in 1996 and 2023.

Oils: Their top five scorers combined for 124 points, led by Connor McDavid’s 31 points. The Panthers’ top five teams combined for 77, led by Matthew Tkachuk’s 19. Four Oilers have scored more points than Tkachuk. Zach Hyman has five more goals than Florida leader Carter Verhaeghe. The Panthers have more scoring depth (they trail the Oilers by a quarter of a goal per game), but Edmonton’s high-end talent makes the difference.

Cheetahs: Evan Bouchard’s 27 points bested the combined points of the top three Panthers defensemen. But Florida’s Gustav Forsling has developed into a better all-around defender. The Panthers are deep with Brandon Montorre and Aaron Ekplat facing surgery and both of them are back.

The Panthers’ defense, led by Selke Trophy winner Aleksandar Barkov, is also impressive. Their forecasting program minimizes enemy attacks. In the first three rounds, they held NHL leading scorer Nikita Kucherov scoreless and limited David Pastrnak to one goal. New York RangersArtemi Panarin, Chris Kreider and Micah Zibanejad joined the duo.

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Defensive tackle Aaron Ekplat was taken No. 1 overall by the Panthers. Forward Sam Reinhardt was taken No. 2 overall Buffalo Sabers and traded to Florida in 2021. Forward Leon took the No. 3 spot in Tricity. Forward Sam Bennett moved to fourth Calgary Flames and was traded to the Panthers in 2021.

The NHL and the NHL Players’ Association announced the details of next season’s 4-nation face-off with USA, Canada, Sweden and Finland. It will be held February 12-20 at Montreal’s Bell Center and Boston’s TD Garden. The championship will be held in Boston. The four nations will announce their first six players on June 28.

The tournament will replace the 2025 All-Star Game and serve as a tie-in for the NHL’s return to the Olympics in 2026.

Oil Coach Kris Knoblauch said Forward Warren Fogele will return to the lineup Saturday for Game 1. He missed the final three games of the Western Conference Finals. Dallas Stars. Has 20 goals and 21 assists in the regular season and three points in 15 playoff games.

The NHL and the NHL Players Association announced Saturday that the salary cap will rise from $83.5 million to $88 million next season. It has been relatively flat recently due to the pandemic. The lower limit is $65 million next season.

Canadian broadcaster Sportsnet said about four hours before Game 1 that its MainX (formerly Twitter) account “has been compromised and we are currently working to restore it. In the meantime it is unsafe to click on any links or engage with any posts from the account.”

Panthers’ Sergey Bobrovsky (12-5, 2.20, .908) vs. Oilers’ Stuart Skinner (11-5, 2.50, .897). Bobrovsky won both regular-season meetings. Skinner has not faced the Panthers this season.

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