Sergei Bobrovsky blanks McDavid, Oilers in Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final

Supported by a 32 save shutout from Sergei Bobrovsky, the Florida Panthers won Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final with a 3-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

Carter Verhaeghe opened the scoring in the first period with a goal at 3:59 of the first, on a odd man rush that began with Alexsander Barkov deking past Connor McDavid to start the rush up the ice, Barkov set up Verhaeghe for the opening goal.

The first period chances favored Edmonton with the shots on goal favoring the Oilers 12-4. After 20 minutes of play, Florida led 1-0.

The second period saw the forechecking of the Panthers capitalizing again. A dump in by Sam Bennett that sent the former Calgary Flame off his own dump in, his pass went through Edmonton defensemen Cody Ceci and Darnell Nurse, where Florida’s Evan Rodrigues stashed Florida’s second goal glove side on Stuart Skinner. Rodrigues’ goal put Florida up 2-0 at 2:16 of the 2nd period.

Edmonton again led in the shots on goal category outshooting Florida 13-8 in the 2nd period to lead on the shot counter 25-12, but trailing where it mattered the most 2-0.

The third period saw the Panthers play well at keeping Edmonton tied up on the walls, not allowing many chances, Eetu Luostarinen with five seconds left salted away the game with an empty net goal.

Connor McDavid led the Oilers for shots on goal with six and time on ice with 25:19.

Stuart Skinner in the loss made 15 saves for the Oilers on 17 shots.

Oilers Head Coach Kris Knoblauch carried optimism even in defeat.

We know that we’re going to have to get even better, we know that probably wasn’t Florida’s best game We expect them to be much better. I think they probably caught off guard with you guys talking about how good they were, and we didn’t have a chance in this series. – Kris Knoblauch

The vaunted Oiler power play went 0/3. In large part, due to the star of the evening in goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.

Panthers Head Coach Paul Maurice raved about his goaltender.

There’s nights where you will say that the driver of (the penalty kill) is the players but tonight the driver of it was Sergei, with those elite shooters, you’re not getting through that penalty kill without your goaltender at some point. – Paul Maurice

This was the first time this postseason the Oilers have been shutout, and much of credit has to go to the Panthers physical style that outhit Edmonton 63-35, including Sam Bennett’s 11.

Game 1 was a case where both teams did not play their best hockey, but the series has a long way to go.

Game 2 is Monday night at 8pm EST/5pm PST from Sunrise, FL.

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