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Stanley Cup Finals

Stanley Cup Final Game 2 recap, winners, losers as Panthers beat Oilers, lose captain

The rallied to beat the , , tying the game on a strange sequence and then getting two goals by their hottest scorer, Evan Rodrigues.

Monday’s win gives the Panthers a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final, but they lost captain Aleksander Barkov, their best two-way player, in the third period on a hit by Oilers star Leon Draisaitl.

Defenseman Niko Mikkola tied the game 1-1 in the second period after first accidentally putting the puck on his own net.

Free agent signee Rodrigues put the Panthers ahead to stay with two goals in the third period. The second was on the power play, ending the Oilers’ 34 consecutive penalty kills. He also scored in Game 1.

Game 3 will be Thursday night in Edmonton. The Oilers also fell behind 2-0 in the 2006 final and lost in seven games.

A closer look at Game 2:

Aleksander Barkov injury: What Panthers coach Paul Maurice said

Panthers coach Paul Maurice said he had no update on captain Aleksander Barkov's injury after the game, but he wasn't holding him out.

"There was 9:28 on the clock, I believe, in a 2-1 game," he said. "I'm not holding him."

He said the league looks at every hit and offered no opinion on the play.

"This isn't the Oprah Winfrey show. My feelings don't matter," he said.

Winners and losers from Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final

Winners

Evan Rodrigues, Panthers: The free agent signee scored twice and has three goals in the Stanley Cup Final.

Sergei Bobrovsky, Panthers: The Oilers’ lone goal snuck through him, but he was alert enough when Niko Mikkola accidentally put the puck onto his own net. If he misses that, the Oilers go ahead, Mikkola doesn’t score and the final result might be different. Bobrovsky also made 12 saves in the third period as the Oilers pressed.

Panthers’ penalty killing: The Panthers took a few ill-timed penalties that negated their power plays. But the penalty killers did their job, killing all four short-handed situations. They’re 7-for-7 in the final and Aaron Ekblad scored a short-handed, empty-netter late in the game on a 6-on-4 Oilers advantage.

Losers

Evan Bouchard, Oilers: He gave the puck away to Rodrigues on the Florida player’s first goal. Rodrigues got past him on his second goal. Bouchard also took two penalties.

Warren Foegele, Oilers: He was ejected for a knee-on-knee hit on Eetu Luostarinen. Could NHL Player Safety look at him for supplemental discipline?

Darnell Nurse, Oilers: He had tough luck. Given a new defensive partner for the game, he didn’t play much because of a first-period injury. He had one shift in the second period and two in the third. Coach Kris Knoblauch said he was being looked at after the game.

Game 2 highlights

Game 2 recap

Panthers 4, Oilers 1: Aaron Ekblad scores in empty net

He scores from behind the red line for his first goal of the 2024 playoffs.

Oilers go on power play

Oliver Ekman-Larsson puts the puck over the glass. Skinner stays on the bench. It's 6-on-4.

Oilers pull goalie Stuart Skinner

The Oilers take a chance with five minutes left.

Panthers 3, Oilers 1: Evan Rodrigues scores again

And it's on the power play, ending the Oilers' penalty killing streak.

Leon Draisaitl hits Aleksander Barkov, is penalized

Oilers star Leon Draisaitl hits Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov in the jaw while checking him. Barkov is down on the ice for a while. He goes to the dressing room and doesn't return. Draisaitl is penalized for two minutes.

Panthers historically strong in third period

With the Panthers scoring early in the third period, they now have a +15 goal differential in the third period. Their two additional goals give team a +17 differential.

Panthers 2, Oilers 1: Evan Rodrigues scores

Evan Rodrigues makes it two games in a row with a goal. The Panthers pin the Oilers in their zone and Rodrigues intercepts Evan Bouchard's clearing attempt. His shot beats Stuart Skinner up high.

Third period underway

Score tied 1-1.

Niko Mikkola describes wild sequence

The Panthers defenseman said he was trying to make a defenseman to defenseman pass behind the net when he accidentally forced Sergei Bobrovsky to make a save.

"He was awake, so all good," Mikkola told ABC.

On his goal, he praised Anton Lundell: "It was a great pass. I just tried to get it at the net and it went through, so I'm happy for that."

Panthers 1, Oilers 1: End of second period

The Oilers have been held to seven shots through two periods. Florida has 22 to pass its Game 1 total. The Panthers scored the lone goal of the period when Niko Mikkola beat Stuart Skinner soon after accidentally shooting the puck onto his own net. Injured Darnell Nurse has played one shift since 8:23 of the first period.

Stuart Skinner robs Sam Bennett

Florida's Sam Bennett is all alone out front on the power play, but Edmonton's Stuart Skinner stops him. That helps Edmonton kill off another penalty, 34 in a row.

Panthers go on power play

Edmonton's Evan Bouchard is called for slashing Carter Verhaeghe after the Florida player leaves the penalty box. It's Bouchard's second penalty of the game.

Oilers go on power play

Florida's Carter Verhaeghe trips Connor McDavid during the Oilers captain's rush up ice. During the kill, Kevin Stenlund puts the puck over the glass, but his stick was just over the blue line so no penalty. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins hits the post and Florida kills it off.

Panthers 1, Oilers 1: Niko Mikkola scores after near-gaffe

Niko Mikkola accidentally put the puck on his own net, forcing Sergei Bobrovsky to make a save. The puck goes down the ice and Mikkola takes a drop pass and rips a shot past Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner's glove at 9:34 of the second period. It's his second goal of the playoffs.

Oilers' Darnell Nurse back on the bench

The Oilers defenseman was injured in the first period.

Panthers take another penalty

It's 4-on-4 again as Matthew Tkachuk is penalized for hooking Connor Brown. Edmonton now has killed 33 in a row. Panthers kill off the rest of Tkachuk's penalty. Still 1-0 Edmonton.

Second period underway

Oilers still killing an Evan Bouchard penalty. Darnell Nurse isn't on the Edmonton bench.

2024 Stanley Cup Final is longest distance between NHL cities

The series will shift to Edmonton after Game 2. Sunrise, Florida, and Edmonton are 2,543 air miles apart. The previous longest distance was Boston-Vancouver at about 2,500 air miles.

Oilers 1, Panthers 0: End of first period

This is the opposite of Game 1 with the Panthers controlling play but trailing by a goal. Oilers defenseman Mattias Ekholm scored on a shot that squeezed through Sergei Bobrovsky. Connor McDavid has been flying around the ice and has an assist. Shots are 9-4 Florida. The Oilers will be down a man the rest of the game with Warren Foegele ejected for kneeing.

The Oilers will start the second period killing a penalty with Evan Bouchard in the box for roughing Matthew Tkachuk.

Panthers' Aaron Ekblad goes to the dressing room

He got tangled up with Connor McDavid in the Panthers zone. But he has returned to the bench and Eetu Luostarinen also returned from his injury.

Oilers kill off rest of the penalty

That makes it 32 kills in a row.

Oilers 1, Panthers 0: Mattias Ekholm scores

Mattias Ekholm scores on an odd-man rush, keeping the puck and shooting it between Bobrovsky's legs at 11:17 for Edmonton's first goal of the series. It was the Oilers' first shot of the game. Connor McDavid picked up the assist. Bobrovsky probably wants to have that goal back.

Panthers' Oliver Ekman-Larsson penalized

We're going 4-on-4 after Oliver Ekman-Larsson is penalized for tripping Mattias Janmark.

Eetu Luostarinen down on ice after Warren Foegele hit

He was down for a while after a knee-on-knee hit from Edmonton's Warren Foegele. He's able to skate off with help. Foegele is called for five minutes for kneeing and it's upheld on review. The Oilers have killed off 30 consecutive short-handed situations. This will be a big test.

The Panthers' Evan Rodrigues went doubled over to the bench earlier in the period. Both Panthers players scored in Game 1. Rodrigues has since returned.

Panthers kill off penalty

The Oilers don't get a shot. Panthers showed good pressure and broke up several passes.

Oilers go on power play

Sam Bennett is called for tripping Evan Bouchard. The Oilers' power play went 0-for-3 in Game 1, but it's clicking at 35% in the playoffs.

Panthers off to better start

No score yet, but the Panthers lead in shot attempts 11-2.

Oilers load up with top line

The Oilers put out Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman out for an offensive zone faceoff. Coach Kris Knoblauch used that line in the third period of Game 1.

Game 2 underway

Panthers coach Paul Maurice is using Aleksander Barkov against Connor McDavid.

Florida Panthers starting lineup

The Florida Panthers are going with the same starting lineup as in Game 1.

Center: Aleksander Barkov

Wingers: Sam Reinhart, Carter Verhaeghe

Defensemen: Aaron Ekblad, Gustav Forsling

Goalie: Sergei Bobrovsky

Edmonton Oilers starting lineup

The Edmonton Oilers are going with the same starting lineup as in Game 1.

Center: Connor McDavid

Wingers: Zach Hyman, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Defensemen: Evan Bouchard, Mattias Ekholm

Goalie: Stuart Skinner

Corey Perry scratched for Game 2

Edmonton Oilers forward Corey Perry and defenseman Cody Ceci are healthy scratches for Game 2. Coming in are forward Sam Carrick and defenseman Vincent Desharnais. Adam Henrique is moving up to the second line with Leon Draisaitl with Evander Kane dropping to the third line

When is Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final?

Game 2 is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on Monday at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Florida.

How to watch Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final

Game 2 will be shown nationally on ABC in the United States.

How to live stream Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final

Game 2 can be streamed on ESPN+ and services that carry ABC, such as .

Dallas Stars' Jim Nill named general manager of the year

Nill won for the second year in a row. He signed Matt Duchene in the offseason and traded for Chris Tanev at the deadline. The Stars finished with the Western Conference's best record. The Panthers' Bill Zito and Vancouver Canucks' Patrik Allvin were the other finalists.

Top NHL draft prospects attend Stanley Cup Final

In an annual tradition, the top NHL draft prospects attended Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. McDavid and Oilers teammate Evander Kane met with them earlier Monday.

"It was a super cool experience," projected No. 1 overall pick Macklin Celebrini told ESPN. "Me and the top prospects were really fortunate to talk to those guys. I know they have a busy day today. We just appreciate them talking to us."

Florida Panthers Game 2 keys to victory

Take advantage of the last line change and try to keep forward Aleksander Barkov and defense pairing Gustav Forsling and Aaron Ekblad out against McDavid.

Read more Panthers keys to victory

Edmonton Oilers Game 2 keys to victory

Press Bobrovsky a little harder when he plays the puck. He made a few mistakes in Game 1, though the Oilers couldn't capitalize. Also shoot higher against him. He's so good covering the bottom of the net.

Read more Oilers keys to victory

Oilers making change on defense pairing

Defenseman Cody Ceci, who lost a puck battle to Sam Bennett on the Panthers’ second goal of Game 1, will be a healthy scratch. Vincent Desharnais will move to his spot alongside Darnell Nurse.

“Vinny has played very well for us this year, whether it’s been through the playoffs or regular season,” Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch told reporters before Game 2. “We have a lot of confidence in him. He can move the puck out. He’s a big defender. … We have an excellent capable person who hasn’t been playing the last few games. We feel that he can help us.”

Stanley Cup Final TV ratings

Game 1, shown on ABC, averaged 3.1 million in the ӣƵ, peaking at 3.65 million. That's up 12% from last year's Panthers-Golden Knights Game 1 on TNT, according to ESPN.

The that factoring in Canadian viewership, there were 7.1 million viewers across North America. The league said that made it the most-watched Stanley Cup Final Game 1 across North America since the - series in 2019.

Panthers are 0-2 in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final

They were swept by the in 1996 and lost 7-2 last year to the . Bobrovsky was pulled in that game after giving up four goals.

Oilers are 1-2 when losing Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final

They were swept after losing Game 1 of the 1983 final against the . But they won four in a row in 1985 after losing Game 1 to the . They lost Game 7 in 2006 against the .

What is the expected goaltending matchup?

Panthers' Bobrovsky (13-5, 2.08 goals-against average, .915 save percentage) vs. Oilers' Stuart Skinner (11-6, 2.47, .897)

Is all of Canada rooting for the Edmonton Oilers?

The Oilers might be the last Canadian team standing, but that doesn’t mean all Canadians are rooting for them to end the country’s decades-long Stanley Cup drought.

That became clear when the noted that the structure will be lit orange and blue on Monday night for Action Anxiety Day and not for the Oilers.

“We’ve got love for our (neighbors) to the north and all across this province, but no. Never,” the tower’s X (formerly Twitter) account said.

The Battle of Alberta between the Flames and Oilers is one of the NHL’s fiercest.

What was the last Canadian team to win a Stanley Cup?

The Montreal Canadiens won in 1993. Read more on Canada’s Stanley Cup drought.

How many Stanley Cup titles have the Panthers won?

None. They reached the final previously in 1996 and 2023.

How many Stanley Cup titles have the Oilers won?

Five. They won in 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1990. They also went to the final in 1983 and 2006.

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