2024 Stanley Cup Final Game 3 Recap

Panthers one win from first Stanley Cup Title after Game 3 win

The Florida Panthers thanks to a goal and an assist from both Sam Reinhart and Aleksander Barkov, and Sergei Bobrovsky’s 32 saves proved to be timely to put the franchise from Sunrise, up in the best of seven three games to none and one win from their first Stanley Cup championship.

The Panthers will look to be the first team since the Detroit Red Wings of 1998 to sweep the Stanley Cup Finals.

The first period saw plenty of shots on goal, with Edmonton holding the edge 13-10. Late in the first period came the first break through.

Aleksander Barkov poked a loose puck from Edmonton defenseman Evan Bouchard while the Oilers were on the attack. The Panthers captain Barkov promptly found Gustav Forsling set up Sam Rinehart for a tip in goal with 1:03 left in the 1st period.

The Edmonton faithful looked for something to cheer for and they got a great reason when Warren Foegele was sprung lose on a breakaway and beat Sergei Bobrovsky glove side to tie the game at 1:49 of the second period.

For the second straight game, the Oilers and Panthers were deadlocked at one in the second period.

The Panthers pounced on Edmonton miscues, and it started when Vladmir Tarasenko scored his fourth goal of the playoffs after Stuart Skinner and Cody Ceci lost the puck behind their own net, the former Cup Champion of 2019 with St. Louis made Edmonton pay at the 9:12 mark of the 2nd period.

Edmonton continued their gift giving mood when Darnell Nurse lost a puck to Sam Bennett, who quickly found Matthew Tkachuk who dished a pass right back to Bennett who went top shelf on Stuart Skinner with 13:57 played in the second period.

It would continue to pour, Aleksander Barkov and Evan Rodrigues led a Panther rush, and Barkov snapped one past Stuart Skinner to put Florida up 4-1 after two goals in 94 seconds.

The Panthers went to the second intermission up by the three-goal margin.

The Oilers were desperate in the third period, Philip Broberg responded to the challenge, with a snapshot at 6:02 to cut the deficit to 4-2.

The Oilers would score again when Ryan McLeod scored on a tip in with 5:17 left in regulation.

McLeod nearly scored a minute later, but Sergei Bobrovsky with his left pad.

That was as close as Edmonton would get to tying the game.

Florida hung on for the win thanks to Sergei Bobrovsky’s 32 saves on 35 Oilers shots.

Stuart Skinner in defeat gave up four goals on 23 Panthers shots on goal.

Skinner did not see help from his team’s power play either, 0/3 in the game and 0/10 in the series.

The game turned when the Oilers gave up the go ahead and insurance goals in the second period, and Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner lamented the squandered giveaways.

We let them take that momentum and stride with it…Just kind of silly mistakes. That doesn’t need to happen. – Stuart Skinner

A significant reason why the Oilers have been silenced has been that of their three regular season scoring leaders; Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Zach Hyman all goalless.

McDavid when asked what his message was to the fans was to keep cheering, quipped, “it’s not over till it’s over”.

The Oilers if they hope to end their nation’s Stanley Cup championship drought, will be forced to comeback from the infamous 3-0 deficit.

Four teams in NHL History have comeback down three games to win a playoff series. The Toronto Maple Leafs were the only team to pull off the feat in the Stanley Cup Final which came against the Detroit Red Wings in 1942.

The Panthers will have to wait for Saturday night for their first chance at raising the Stanley Cup. Florida captain Aleksander Barkov, when speaking to Sportsnet, expressed the urgency Game 4 will bring for the Panthers.

We know it’s going to be the hardest game for sure…We don’t take anything for granted. Every single day is one day at a time. Whether it’s one period, one shift, we take it one at a time. That’s how we’ve been all year. – Aleksander Barkov

Sergei Bobrovsky in his postgame interview emphasized staying in the moment for their next game. For Panthers fans, Saturday night cannot come soon enough, but Edmonton hopes to solve a team that has had their number the first three games of the series.


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