Connect with us

Ice Hockey

Panthers Near Stanley Cup with Game 3 Victory, Bobrovsky’s Heroics



Stanley Cup Ice Hockey

The venue shifted for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, but the outcome mirrored that of Games 1 and 2, with the Florida Panthers securing a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night. This win puts the Panthers just one victory away from clinching the franchise’s first championship.

Game 3 Recap

Florida struck first in the game, but Edmonton quickly tied it at 1. The Panthers responded with three consecutive goals, taking a commanding lead. Despite a late push from the Oilers, who scored two goals to come within one, clutch defensive plays and key saves from Sergei Bobrovsky ensured Florida held on for the win.

The Panthers allowed Edmonton to chip away at their 4-1 lead in the third period, resulting in a tense one-goal finish. The victory was largely protected by Bobrovsky’s crucial save on Ryan McLeod in the final minutes of a frantic third period.

Ultimately, the final score is all that matters, and Florida is now just one victory away from their first championship. This wouldn’t have been possible without another stellar performance from Bobrovsky, an all-out effort from the entire Panthers lineup, and a penalty kill that has consistently neutralized Edmonton’s powerful power play. Despite Edmonton’s late comeback attempt, the Panthers remained composed. This calm under pressure is a significant strength they will rely on as they aim to clinch the Cup in Game 4.

Edmonton’s struggles against the Panthers in the Stanley Cup Final were evident once again in Game 3. Despite a heavy number of shots on goal, they failed to create high-quality scoring chances to consistently challenge Bobrovsky. Defensive breakdowns led to Florida scoring as many goals in the second period as Edmonton had managed in the first eight periods of the series. Though the Oilers’ third-period rally added excitement, it ultimately fell short.

Aleksander Barkov on Another Level

Concerns about the Panthers captain’s availability after his Game 2 injury were dispelled as he emerged as the best skater on the ice by far. Barkov set the tone early, stripping Evan Bouchard of the puck, protecting it, and feeding Gustav Forsling, who set up Sam Reinhart for the opening goal at 18:58 of the first period. Barkov scored the game-winning goal on a 2-on-1 in the second period and was the key forward in defusing the 6-on-5 situation in the final minute of the game.

While Edmonton’s stars have been quiet on the scoresheet throughout this series, Florida has not faced such issues, particularly with Aleksander Barkov. The Panthers’ captain was the standout player in Game 3, not only as his team’s best forward but the top skater overall.

Other Key Players

Connor Brown (Edmonton Oilers): One of the most active players for the Oilers, Brown was a constant presence throughout the game. He used his speed to pressure Florida’s defensemen on the forecheck, generating four shot attempts. Notably, he created two scoring chances during a short-handed rush in the first period, though he was ultimately denied both times.

Sergei Bobrovsky (Florida Panthers): Florida’s goalie continues to be the MVP of the series. Bobrovsky needed to be at his best for the first 30 minutes until his teammates pulled ahead. He allowed a breakaway goal by Warren Foegele early in the second period but then shut the door, frustrating the Oilers at every turn. Through two periods, he stopped 28 of 29 shots, including 14 from Edmonton’s top threats: Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Evan Bouchard. Bobrovsky finished with 32 saves, moving the Panthers one game away from their first Stanley Cup championship.

What We Learned

Panthers’ Dominance on the Boards:

Florida’s control of the series is largely due to their dominance in winning 50-50 pucks, especially along the boards. Their relentless puck-hunting in the offensive zone has pinned the Oilers in their end and worn down Edmonton’s top offensive players by forcing them to fight through a gauntlet of bodies up the ice.

Oilers Need a Full 60 Minutes:

Edmonton has not played poorly throughout the series but has faltered during critical stretches. They controlled the first two periods of Game 1 but couldn’t solve Bobrovsky, leading to a dominant third period by Florida for a 3-0 win. Game 2 saw Edmonton stymied through two periods before improving in the third in a 4-1 loss. In Game 3, a strong first period was undone by a last-minute mistake, and after tying the game, the Oilers allowed three goals in a 6:19 span due to defensive breakdowns. Despite a strong third period, the deficit was too much to overcome.

Read more: Panthers vs. Oilers: A Clash for the 2024 Stanley Cup

From thrilling match breakdowns to exploring the latest trends in esports, I'm here to guide you through the dynamic world where sports and gaming intersect. Let's embark on an exhilarating journey together through the adrenaline-fueled realm of Machina Sports!"

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ice Hockey

Vancouver Canucks Secure Goalie Future: Arturs Silovs Signs Two-Year Deal



NHL Vancouver Canucks

Vancouver Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin confirmed Tuesday that the NHL club has signed popular goaltender Artūrs Šilovs to a two-year contract extension with an annual average value of $850,000.

This leaves the Canucks with $165,833 in salary cap space, considering Tucker Poolman is not on long-term injury reserve, and gives them two capable stoppers to share the net next season.

“Artūrs helped a lot when called upon last year as he continues to grow and develop,” Allvin said in a statement. “We expect him to battle for a full-time position with the big club. Our group will help sharpen his skills and provide all the tools to take another step in his young career.”

Šilovs’ Extension

During the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs this past season, Silovs was called up from AHL Abbotsford after starting goaltender Thatcher Demko was injured. Silovs served as Casey DeSmith’s backup for two games before DeSmith was injured as well. He then stepped in and helped the Canucks achieve their first playoff series victory since 2020, earning the starting role for Round 2 against the Edmonton Oilers.

“Arturs helped us significantly when called upon last year as he continues to grow and develop as a goalie,” said Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin in a statement. “We expect him to come into training camp and compete for a full-time position with the big club. Our group will continue to work with him to sharpen his skills and provide him with the necessary tools to take another step forward in his young career.”

Now, with DeSmith joining the Dallas Stars in free agency, Šilovs is set to back up Demko because of his calm demeanor. He typically sits quietly with an ice bag on his head during intermissions, not talking, but clearly focused on his task ahead, reminiscent of a modern-day Rocky Balboa determined to go the distance.

Praise For Artūrs 

Šilovs transitioned from a rookie to a playoff savior and cult figure among fans, who chant “Arty, Arty” in his honor.

“I don’t think he thinks — he just does what he’s told,” remarked Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet. “He’s just a guy who comes to the rink every day and does his thing.”

“About that ice pack?” Šilovs explained, “It’s always been there, just to cool myself down. It was a huge relief after winning Game 6 (Nashville). Everything has come together. For me, I just have to keep focused on my game. The cheering is like outside noise. It’s nice, but you just have to be focused on doing your job.”

Šilovs is unfazed by the spotlight or expectations, often resembling Ken Dryden during his first playoff run.

In May 2023, Šilovs backstopped Latvia to a bronze medal at the world championship on home soil with a stellar performance — 7-2-0 record, 2.20 goals-against average, and .921 save percentage — earning MVP honors and invaluable confidence.

“There was always a thought we could win against Canada in the semifinals,“ he recalled. “We could have played in the final and maybe won. It was great, but I always think I could have played a little better. A goal or situation you could have handled better.”

For goalies, that mindset and a willingness to improve are keys to success.

“You have to give (goalie coach) Ian Clark a lot of credit,” said former Canucks goalie John Garrett. “When Artūrs first came in, he was very athletic but often overplayed situations. Initially, I thought it would be hard to rein him in. Obviously, Ian has done that.”

“He’s in control, calm, and cool. He’s at the top of the crease, and his feet are steady.”

Šilovs’ Numbers

Šilovs knows he needs to improve his puck tracking and handling long shots and traffic around the crease.

Šilovs played 34 regular-season games with the AHL Abbotsford Canucks in 2023-24, achieving a record of 16-11-6 with a 2.74 GAA and a .907 save percentage. He also appeared in four regular-season games with Vancouver, recording a 3-0-1 mark with a 2.47 GAA and an .881 save percentage.

He also played his first 10 NHL playoff games with the Canucks, achieving a 5-5-0 record with a 2.91 GAA and an .898 save percentage.

The 6-foot-4, 203-pound goalie has logged 89 regular-season AHL games across four seasons, with a record of 45-30-11, a 2.62 GAA, and a .906 save percentage, along with nine regular-season NHL games, posting a 6-2-1 record with a 2.62 GAA and an .898 save percentage.

Šilovs also played in two AHL playoff games, with a 1-1 record, a 2.85 GAA, and a .914 save percentage.

The Riga native has represented Latvia in several competitions, including the 2019 U18 World Championships. He was chosen by the Canucks in the sixth round, 156th overall, of the 2019 NHL Draft.

Read more: Florida Panthers Celebrate First Stanley Cup Title in Franchise History

Continue Reading

Ice Hockey

Florida Panthers Celebrate First Stanley Cup Title in Franchise History



Florida Panthers Stanley Cup title

The Edmonton Oilers fell agonizingly short of completing their Cinderella journey, as the Florida Panthers thwarted their bid in Game 7. The Panthers clinched their first-ever Stanley Cup title with a hard-fought 2–1 victory on Monday night, marking a turnaround after losing three consecutive games following a 3–0 series lead.

Recap Of The Action

First Period

The Panthers seized an early advantage, breaking a 184:27 scoring drought in the Final (since their Game 3 victory) when Carter Verhaeghe deflected Evan Rodrigues’ shot from the left circle past Stuart Skinner just 4:27 into the game. 

Edmonton’s Cody Ceci continued his standout Game 7 performance by threading a stretch pass through the neutral zone to Mattias Janmark, who capitalized on a breakaway, deflecting the puck past Sergei Bobrovsky to knot the score at 1-1. Janmark’s goal, his second of the Final and fourth point, kept the Oilers in contention.

Midway through the period, Evan Bouchard came close to giving Edmonton the lead, striking the post with a powerful shot. 

Second Period

In the second period, the Edmonton Oilers found themselves once again trailing, needing a comeback to secure the Stanley Cup.

With just five-and-a-half minutes remaining before the intermission, Sam Reinhart broke the deadlock for the Panthers with a precise wrist shot. Racing up the ice on a rush, Reinhart capitalized on the opportunity, beating Stuart Skinner on the short side from the right circle for his second goal of the series.

Moments earlier, Edmonton had come close to taking the lead themselves when a shot from Evan Bouchard almost slipped past the goal line, only to be cleared out of harm’s way by defenseman Dmitry Kulikov. The ensuing rush saw the Panthers surge forward with numbers, enabling Reinhart to fire a shot that eluded Skinner’s glove despite the defensive effort of Leon Draisaitl.

Third Period

In the third period, Edmonton pushed with everything they had, yet fell just short of claiming the Stanley Cup.

Early in the final frame, the Oilers successfully killed off their second penalty of the night. The Panthers then focused on defense, holding off Edmonton’s relentless pressure over the remaining 15 minutes to preserve their slim one-goal lead. Jonathan Huberdeau created a tense moment with 14:41 left in regulation, forcing Stuart Skinner to make a critical save in close quarters, denying Edmonton’s best chance of the period and forcing them to intensify their attack in search of an equalizer that could extend their season into overtime.

Edmonton applied consistent pressure, keeping Florida hemmed in their zone for long shifts and forcing multiple icing calls to maintain the offensive onslaught. The Oilers came closest to tying the game around the seven-minute mark, as Evan Bouchard’s low shot was intercepted by Connor McDavid. The Oilers’ captain attempted to wrap the puck around the outstretched Sergei Bobrovsky, only to have it knocked away by a Panthers defender. Zach Hyman followed up with another attempt that was thwarted by a quick Panthers’ defense, prompting the referee to halt play.

Largest NHL Viewership

Game 7 lived up to its billing as a major draw for NHL viewership, with the Panthers’ victory over the Oilers on Monday capturing significant attention. In the United States alone, the game averaged 7.66 million viewers, marking the largest U.S. audience for an NHL broadcast since the 2019 Stanley Cup Final Game 7, which drew 8.72 million viewers. This viewership figure more than doubled last year’s Game 5 of the final, which had 2.72 million viewers for the Vegas Golden Knights’ clinching win.

Across North America, Game 7 commanded an average audience of 16.3 million viewers, according to the NHL. It stands as the second most-watched NHL game continent-wide since 2004, trailing only the Stanley Cup Final Game 7 between the Bruins and Canucks in 2011.

In comparison with other major sports events, the U.S. viewership of 7.66 million for Game 7 was notable. For instance, the recent NBA Finals clinching game drew 12.224 million viewers, while the 2023 World Series Game 5 between the Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks attracted 11.48 million viewers. These comparisons underscored the broad appeal and significant viewership Game 7 generated within the sports landscape.

Drought Lifted

When Aleksander Barkov hoisted the Stanley Cup after defeating the Oilers in Game 7, he didn’t just lift a trophy. He lifted nearly three decades of failures, embarrassments, and frustrations off the shoulders of players, fans, and the entire franchise.

The Florida Panthers have finally shed their reputation as a punch line. No longer mocked for attendance woes or seen as underachievers, the Panthers ended a 25-year drought between playoff series victories by capturing their first Stanley Cup. It wasn’t without drama; almost squandering a 3-0 series lead against Edmonton nearly added to their historical disappointments, reminiscent of infamous collapses in sports history.

But this Panthers team isn’t defined by past shortcomings. They’re champions.

It’s fitting that Florida clinched the Cup against a Canadian team, a nation often dismissive of the Panthers’ legitimacy. Eliminating the NHL-leading New York Rangers in the conference finals further solidified their ascent from underdog to elite status.

“These teams came close to championships,” said defenseman Aaron Ekblad, reflecting on the journey. “But we’re the ones who finished the story.”

Perhaps most astonishingly, the Florida Panthers—a franchise once synonymous with struggle—are now among the NHL’s elite.

“It’s pretty freakin’ cool,” said Ekblad, the second-longest-tenured Panther after Barkov. “We’ve come a long way. There were tough years, new faces in management and coaching. But now, making the playoffs and challenging for a championship is our expectation. I’m proud to have been part of it all.”

Barkov, Ekblad, and a dedicated South Florida fan base endured years of skepticism and sparse attendance. From the rat-tossing days of the mid-1990s to celebrating a Stanley Cup parade, their loyalty has been unwavering.

Read more: Exemplifying Excellence: Lady Byng Trophy Finalists Showcased

Continue Reading

Ice Hockey

Panthers vs. Oilers: A Clash for the 2024 Stanley Cup



Playing Ice Hokey

From a regular-season pool of 32 teams to a Stanley Cup playoff field of 16, the NHL‘s 2024 champion is now nearly crowned.

A year after losing the Stanley Cup Final to the Vegas Golden Knights, the Florida Panthers are determined to complete their journey and lift the Cup for the first time in franchise history.

For the Edmonton Oilers, winning the Stanley Cup would silence the “yeah, but” conversations surrounding superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, cementing their legacies alongside the franchise greats from five prior championship teams.

Florida enters the Stanley Cup Final as the favorite with -130 odds on DraftKings, while the Oilers stand at +110.

The Panthers have home-ice advantage for the series, a significant edge given Edmonton’s impressive playoff performance.

Despite being out-shot 34-10 in Game 6, Edmonton secured the win with Connor McDavid’s skillful play leading to a power play goal, followed by another first-period power play goal from Zach Hyman.

However, this strategy might falter against a Panthers team that has effectively neutralized opposing power plays throughout the playoffs.

Lessons from the Eastern Conference Finals: Panthers’ Dominance

Florida has proven to be the total package. The Panthers boast star power, scoring depth, elite defensive skills, a top-tier goaltender, and, perhaps most crucially, a killer instinct.

In the final stretch against the New York Rangers, Florida was exceptional in the third period, winning the last three games by a one-goal margin. They shut down the Rangers at 5-on-5, allowing just one even-strength goal and nullifying New York’s power play with a stifling penalty kill. Florida’s defensive buy-in was evident, as they held the Rangers’ elite scorers, Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad, to a single goal combined over six games.

Florida also excelled on the rush and suppressed counter-attacks effectively. Their ability to capitalize on the Rangers’ mistakes was another decisive factor, as they rarely allowed quality scoring chances, with Bobrovsky standing tall during the rare breakdowns.

Lessons from the Western Conference Finals: Oilers’ Depth and Versatility

Anyone who still thinks the Oilers are solely about Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid hasn’t been paying attention. Their path to defeating the Stars in the Western Conference finals proves otherwise.

In their victories in Games 4 and 5, key goals came from players like Mattias Janmark, Ryan McLeod, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Philip Broberg. Their penalty kill was flawless against the Stars, going 3-for-3 in the crucial Game 6.

The Oilers have developed a two-way identity, allowing them to excel in one-goal games, including the Game 6 closeout. Emphasizing goal prevention has become a vital part of their strategy, complementing their ability to explode offensively and score more than four goals in a game.

This team, often seen as an offensive powerhouse, has demonstrated that it can be the complete package.

Key Players for the Cup Final


The Oilers boast elite forwards Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid, who have four Hart Trophies between them. However, their strength extends beyond these superstars.

Zach Hyman has emerged as a critical asset, providing a relentless forecheck and dominating the net front. Evan Bouchard, a skilled puck-moving defenseman, pairs effectively with Mattias Ekholm, forming a reliable top defensive duo.

This postseason has highlighted Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ value as a versatile two-way player, excelling at 5-on-5, on the penalty kill, and on the power play. He may be the Oilers’ most crucial forward aside from Draisaitl and McDavid.

Darnell Nurse also played a pivotal role against Dallas, transforming from a scrutinized figure to one of the team’s most dependable players. In Game 6, he logged over 21 minutes with three hits, and crucially, was not on the ice for a goal against. This version of Nurse could be key in securing the franchise’s first title since 1990.


Florida’s collective defense will be crucial against Edmonton’s offensive powerhouses like Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Zach Hyman. 

Gustav Forsling has been brilliant throughout the postseason, facing tough matchups while contributing offensively with four goals and 11 points. Brandon Montour’s physicality and active stick have been invaluable in breaking up rush chances. The Panthers excel at keeping shooters to the outside and limiting opportunities from the slot, which will be vital to containing the Oilers.

Aaron Ekblad will also play a key role in stabilizing Florida’s defense. Unlike last year, he’ll be competing in the Cup Final fully healthy, without a broken foot, marking a significant improvement for the team.

Read more: Exemplifying Excellence: Lady Byng Trophy Finalists Showcased

Continue Reading