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SUNRISE, FLORIDA - JUNE 24: Matthew Tkachuk #19 of the Florida Panthers lifts the Stanley Cup after Florida's 2-1 victory against the Edmonton Oilers in Game Seven of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final at Amerant Bank Arena on June 24, 2024 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

NEWS HEADLINES: Florida Panthers Win Their First Stanley Cup As Oilers Fall Short In Game 7 – One America News Network

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Matthew Tkachuk #19 of the Florida Panthers lifts the Stanley Cup after Florida’s 2-1 victory against the Edmonton Oilers in Game Seven of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final at Amerant Bank Arena on June 24, 2024 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

OAN’s James Meyers
9:00 AM – Tuesday, June 25, 2024

The Florida Panthers won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history after almost being on the wrong end of history. 

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Florida defeated the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night, 2-1, and avoided a disastrous collapse after having a 3-0 series lead. 

Forward Sam Reinhart led the Panthers as was able to score the game-winning goal late in the second period. After Florida defenseman Dmitry Kulikov was able to keep the puck out after making an unbelievable diving play as it sat in front of the Florida net. 

As a result, Reinhart ended up with the puck in the offensive zone, and snapped a beautiful wrister passed goaltender Stuart Skinner. It was the first goal for Reinhart since Game 3 of the series. 

The goaltender on the other side, Sergei Bobrovsky, was able to save 23 of the 24 shots he faced in Game 7. Bobrovsky struggled coming into Game 7, in Games 4-6 he had a 4.00 goals-against-average. 

The league’s best player, Oilers star Connor McDavid won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the 2024 NHL playoffs. McDavid put up an unbelievable 42 total points (eight goals and 34 assists) throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which was the fourth-highest point total in a single postseason. 

McDavid also became just the sixth player ever to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as a member of the losing team.

The scoring began with Florida early in the first period. At the 4:27 mark, Panthers forward Evan Rodrigues snapped a shot towards the net that was off-target, but was able to find its way in after teammate Carter Verhaeghe was able to deflect the puck past Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner for the opening goal.

However, just two minutes later, Edmonton was able to respond. Veteran defenseman Cody Ceci was able to find a streaking Mattias Janmark behind the defense and put a pass right on Janmark’s stick at the other end of the ice. Janmark was in all alone on Bobrovsky and put the puck past him into the back of the net. 

The Oilers were looking to achieve a feat that had not been done since 1942, becoming the second team in NHL history to erase a 3-0 series deficit to win the Stanley Cup. The Toronto Maple Leaf’s still remain the only team to achieve such a feat. 

As for the Panthers, they become just the third team in the past 40 years to win the Stanley Cup after losing in the Final in the previous postseason.

It’s also the franchise’s first title in their 30-year history after defeating the Oilers in seven games. 

“It’s pretty freakin’ cool,” defenseman Aaron Ekblad, who is second to Barkov in career games played as a Panther, said. “It wasn’t easy those first few years. There was a lot of learning and growing. New GMs, new coaches … that revolving door was tough, right? The fact that we’re at this point now, where the expectation is to make the playoffs, and the expectation is to challenge for a championship, that’s a really cool thing. I’m so happy to have been through it all with this franchise.”

The loss for the Oilers also extends the streak for Canadian teams to not win the Stanley Cup, as the 1993 Montreal Canadiens were the last Canadian team to finish at the top of the NHL. 

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