Panthers limit Oilers’ offense again to take 2-0 Stanley Cup Final lead

SUNRISE, Fla. — The Edmonton Oilers left Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final feeling pretty good.

They were shut out three goals to none, but it took a monumental performance from Florida Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to neutralize their offensive firepower.

The Oilers weren’t shutout Monday night, but the result was the same — another loss, this one putting Edmonton in an 0-2 hole as the series shifts to Canada.

One of the highest-scoring teams in the NHL, Edmonton has managed just one goal in the first two games of the final.

Sergei Bobrovsky (72) and left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) defend the net from a shot by Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) during the third period of Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final. AP

The Panthers outshot the Oilers 22-7 through the first two periods Monday.

Edmonton’s seven shots on goal through 40 minutes were the fewest by a team through two periods of a Stanley Cup Final since Game 6 of the 2006 championship series when the Carolina Hurricanes managed that many on goal against the Oilers.

That’s one game after Edmonton outshot the Panthers 32-18 in a Game 1 performance that star Connor McDavid described as a confidence booster.

Florida Panthers forward Evan Rodrigues (17) celebrates scoring a goal during the third period against the Edmonton Oilers in Game 2 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final at Amerant Bank Arena on Monday. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

McDavid, who was kept off the scoresheet in Game 1, assisted Mattias Ekholm on Edmonton’s only goal of the night. It was a 4-on-4 shot on the Oilers’ first shot on goal of the game.

McDavid, who leads all postseason scorers with 32 points, now has 17 points in games following a loss this postseason.

Panthers forward Evan Rodrigues (17) celebrates scoring against the Edmonton Oilers during the third period in Game 2 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con
Oilers forward Mattias Janmark (13) checks Florida Panthers defenseman Niko Mikkola (77) during the first period in Game 2 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final at Amerant Bank Arena. Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

But Edmonton’s other star, the 2020 league MVP Leon Draisaitl, still has no points in the series and hasn’t been much of a factor.

Draisaitl was penalized for roughing in the third period when he shoved Florida captain Aleksander Barkov.

Aleksander Barkov (16) of the Florida Panthers and Mattias Janmark (13) of the Edmonton Oilers battle for position during the first period of Game 2 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final. NHLI via Getty Images

Goalie Stuart Skinner, for his part, followed his 15-save performance in the opener with 24 on Monday night.

The experience of the Panthers, who were in the final just a year ago, has clearly frustrated the Oilers, and Florida has found a way to limit them at what they do best — Edmonton came into the series with the best power play in the postseason at 37.3 percent, but is now 0-for-7.

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