Panthers hold off Oilers for 3-0 edge in finals

By Thomson Reuters Jun 13, 2024 | 10:13 PM

Aleksander Barkov and Sam Reinhart both collected one goal and one assist as the Florida Panthers moved one win away from claiming the first championship in franchise history by beating the host Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Thursday.

Vladimir Tarasenko and Sam Bennett added a goal apiece for the Panthers, who hold a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Florida goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 32 saves in another top-shelf performance.

The Panthers will shoot for the sweep in Game 4 on Saturday in Edmonton.

Warren Foegele, Philip Broberg and Ryan McLeod replied for the Oilers, and goalie Stuart Skinner stopped 19 shots. Connor McDavid collected two assists.

Florida led 4-1 after two periods before the Oilers rallied to add drama to the finish.

Broberg scored at 6:02 of the third period — his shot was going wide but banked off a defender and into the cage for his second of the playoffs — to give the Oilers a jolt of life.

McLeod made it a one-goal game with 5:17 remaining in regulation by completing a strong offensive shift with a deflection tally for his second goal of the playoffs. However, the Oilers could not find the equalizer.

Reinhart opened the scoring at 18:58 of the first period. During four-on-four action, Barkov created a rush up ice that ended when Reinhart redirected a pass from Gustav Forsling

Foegele drew the Oilers even at 1:49 of the second period when he converted a breakaway chance for his second of the playoffs, but the Panthers eventually pulled away with a trio of goals 6:19 apart in the middle frame.

Shortly after Bobrovsky made a handful of clutch saves, Tarasenko restored Florida’s lead thanks to a Skinner miscue. The Oilers goalie failed to control a dump-in behind his net, Eetu Luostarinen beat Cody Ceci to the puck at the end boards and sent a pass to the front for Tarasenko to tap in at 9:12, his fourth goal of the playoffs.

Bennett doubled the lead at 13:57 thanks to another Edmonton turnover. Bennett forced Darnell Nurse to cough up the puck and on the ensuing play converted the quick pass from Matthew Tkachuk for his seventh goal of the playoffs.

Barkov, who was injured late in Game 2, made it a 4-1 count 94 seconds later when he was sprung on a partial breakaway and ripped blocker-side shot for his seventh of the postseason.

–Field Level Media