Sergei Bobrovsky of the Panthers suspends the Oilers

He plays

the Florida Panthers They are one step away from their first Stanley Cup Championship and they have goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky to thank for their Game 1 win on Saturday night.

Bobrovsky made 32 saves, including saves from Adam Henrique and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, en route to a 3-0 win over the hosts. Edmonton Oilers To go 1-0 in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final.

The Panthers scored goals from Carter Verhaeghe, Ivan Rodriguez and Eto Luostarinen to earn just their second win in three trips to the championship round.

The Oilers figured out a way around the Panthers’ forward check that had frustrated other Florida opponents but were unable to capitalize on it.

The second game will take place Monday night in Sunrise, Florida.

A closer look at Game 1:

Winners

Panthers goalkeeper Sergei Bobrovsky: Thanks to his powerful shooting, he has given up two or fewer goals in 11 of his last 12 games. Even with his few mistakes on the ball, he fought back to keep the ball out of the net.

Oilers crime: You can’t ask for much more than the result. They created opportunities, especially on the power play, and got several breakaways, but Bobrovsky frustrated them.

Panthers striker Sam Bennett: He recorded a game-high 11 digs and made a great play to set up Ivan Rodriguez’s goal.

Losers

Oilers defensemen Darnell Nurse and Cody Ceci: They were on the ice for the Panthers’ first two goals and Bennett beat Ceci to the puck before feeding Rodriguez. Coach Chris Knoblauch brought the pair back together for the first game. Nurse has a -15 plus-minus in the playoffs.

Panthers discipline: They were shorthanded three times and two penalties could have been avoided. The Oilers are dangerous on the power play and the Panthers can’t afford to short-handed too many times.

Connor McDavid said gruffly: He was dangerous with six shots but also absorbed one of Bennett’s big shots. He also ended up with a cut on his chin, which he said happened on another play.

Many of their comments revolved around Bobrovsky’s play.

“His preparation is unbelievable,” striker Matthew Tkachuk told reporters. “His work ethic, his personality, he’s everything you want in a teammate.”

“It was a tough game. They’re really smart players and it was a fun challenge,” Bobrovsky told ABC.

McDavid said there was a lot to like about the Oilers’ play in Game 1.

“We created chances,” he told reporters. “We had a look, and there wasn’t a lot of luck around the net.”

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Knoblauch said the Oilers will need to improve in Game 2.

“Florida, that probably wasn’t their best game,” he said. “We expect them to be much better next time.”

It comes from the 1995-96 season when Florida’s Scott Mellanby killed a rat in Miami’s old stadium. He scored twice that night, which one teammate described as a “rat trick.” Fans started throwing plastic mice on the ice after goals. The Panthers went to the Stanley Cup Final that season. The NHL changed its rules to make throwing items on the ice after scoring a goal subject to a delay-of-game penalty. Fans were warned on Saturday not to throw any more after the team’s empty-net goal.

Eto’o Luostarinen scores into an empty net. He missed last year’s final due to injury.

Skinner is out for an extra skater. Edmonton calls timeout with 1:21 remaining.

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

Edmonton’s Corey Perry was called for interference. But the Oilers finish making it perfect in their last 30 shortstop situations.

The Oilers use a combination of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman.

Other than the score, the Oilers have to like what they’re doing. They have seven shots on the power play and outrebound Florida 26-12. Sergei Bobrovsky is keeping the Panthers in the game with three steals on breakaways. He misplayed the ball several times, but the Oilers didn’t take advantage.

The Panthers were strong in the third period, outscoring their opponents 24-11.

The Panthers take the penalty and Bobrovsky looks acrobatic. But the Panthers need to take fewer penalties.

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped Matthias Janmark with the puck under his pillow. Connor Brown hit the ball and the goalkeeper into the net and it was immediately ruled a no-goal. A crowd of players broke out and two players from each team entered the penalty area. Sam Bennett was called for interference shortly after on the Oilers’ third power play of the game.

The Panthers took the penalty kick and Rodriguez scored at 2:16 after a great center pass from Sam Bennett. Bennett defeated Cody Ceci in puck play. Oilers defensemen Ceci and Darnell Nurse were on the ice for Florida’s two goals.

The Oilers dominated most of the period and outscored the Panthers 13-4. The reason they are behind: Sergei Bobrovsky, who is at the top of his game. Florida goaltender Ryan Nugent stopped Hopkins on a breakaway during Edmonton’s power play. He had earlier stopped Adam Henrique on a breakaway.

The Panthers would have to kill another penalty kill early in the second half after Carter Verhaeghe hit Evan Bouchard with a high shot with nine seconds left in the first half.

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Gustav Forsling, one of Florida’s best penalty killers, blocks Connor McDavid. The Oilers’ power play was at 37.3% heading into the game. The Panthers, also strong on the penalty kill, stay alive.

Oilers defenseman Mattias Ekholm was called for tripping Florida’s Kyle Okposo at 7:33. Edmonton’s penalty kill, which had been perfect the last 10 games, killed it.

Aleksander Barkov sprints across the ice and passes the ball to Verhaegh, who stands alone in front. He scored at 3:59 of the first period on Florida’s first shot of the game. This is his tenth goal for his team in the qualifiers.

The opening lineups show Panthers coach Paul Morris will try to match Silk Trophy winner Aleksander Barkov against Oilers star Connor McDavid.

center: Alexander Barkov

Wings: Sam Reinhart, Carter Verhaeghe

Defensemen: Aaron Ekblad, Gustav Forsling

Goalkeeper: Sergei Bobrovsky

center: Connor McDavid

Wings: Zach Hyman, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Defensemen: Yvan Bouchard, Matthias Ekholm

Goalkeeper: Stuart Skinner

When is Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final?

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

How to watch Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final

Game 1 will be shown nationally on ABC in the United States. The pregame will be on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. ET.

How to live stream Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final

Game 1 can be streamed on ESPN+ and services that carry ABC, such as Fubo. The NHL and PXP produce alternative television broadcasts specifically for the deaf community using American Sign Language. This can be streamed on ESPN+.

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

But McDavid praised the Panthers: “They’re skating well, they’re aggressive, good offensively, defending well, doing a lot of really good things. Obviously two teams in the final are playing well. It’s going to be a good test.”

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

no one. They previously reached the final in 1996 and 2023.

Oilers: The top five scorers, led by Connor McDavid’s 31 points, combined for 124 points. The Panthers’ top five, led by Matthew Tkachuk’s 19, totaled 77 points. Four Oilers have 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 developing talent makes the difference.

Panthers: Evan Bouchard’s 27 points is better than the total of the Panthers’ top three defenses combined. But Florida’s Gustav Forsling has developed into an elite defender. The Panthers are deep as they added three defensemen in the offseason with Brandon Montour and Aaron Ekblad facing surgery and those two are back.

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The Panthers’ defense, led by Selke Cup winner Aleksandar Barkov, is also impressive. Their advance check system slows down opponents’ attacks. In the first three rounds, they held top NHL scorer Nikita Kucherov to a goal, limited David Pastrnak to one goal and retained the title. New York RangersArtemi Panarin, Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad are on the combined teams.

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Defenseman Aaron Ekblad was drafted No. 1 overall by the Panthers. Forward Sam Reinhart went second overall Buffalo Sabres He was traded to Florida in 2021. Forward Leon Draisaitl went third to the Oilers. Forward Sam Bennett went fourth Calgary Flames He was traded to the Panthers in 2021.

The NHL Players Association and the NHL have announced details of next season’s 4 Nations Face Off, which includes the USA, Canada, Sweden and Finland. It will be held from February 12 to 20 at the Bell Center in Montreal and TD Garden in Boston. The championship game will be in Boston. The four countries will announce their first six players on June 28.

The tournament will be held in place of the 2025 All-Star Game and will serve as preparation for the return of NHL players to the Olympics in 2026.

Oilers coach Chris Knoblauch said Forward Warren Voegele will return to the lineup Saturday for Game 1. He missed the last three matches of the Western Conference final against Australia. Dallas Stars. He had career-best 20 goals and 21 assists during the regular season and three points in 15 playoff games.

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

Canadian broadcaster Sportsnet said, about four hours before the first game, that its main

The Panthers’ Sergei Bobrovsky (12-5, 2.20, .908) vs. the 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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