Edmonton Oilers look to take Florida Panthers to the limit in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final

Damond Isiaka
4 Min Read


CNN
 — 

The Edmonton Oilers aren’t done with their quest to end Canada’s decades-long Stanley Cup drought when they face off against the Florida Panthers in Game 6 on Friday.

The Oilers defeated the Panthers 5-3 Tuesday at Amerant Bank Arena, forcing the Stanley Cup Final back to Canada.

The Oilers were 0-3 down in the best-of-seven series series, but arguably have the momentum after successive wins as the scene shifts back to Edmonton.

If the Oilers secure a win at home on Friday, they would take the series to a winner-takes-all Game 7 in Sunrise, Florida.

“That’s one thing, but I think the belief comes from [the fact that] we’ve crawled our way out of holes before this year,” Oilers forward Connor Brown said, per NHL.

“We’ve put together winning streaks when we’ve had to this year. We have that belief when you can draw on past experience not too long ago. That’s where the belief is, and that unshakable belief is growing.”

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The Oilers were bottom of the NHL overall standings at one point after a 2-9-1 start to the season and head coach Kris Knoblauch pointed to the team’s comeback as a testament to the squad’s early season experience and endurance.

“You look back to November where this team hit pretty much rock-bottom,” Knoblauch said Wednesday, per NHL.

“The expectations were very high from the outside and, definitely inside, wanting to have a successful season and getting off to a slow start, and when you’re dead last in the NHL at one point, you knew things were going to rebound. Things were going to start going in a positive direction.

“But I think guys were just able to say, ‘OK, let’s just start playing hockey right now. It can’t get worse than this. We can’t worry about falling back anymore.’ I think that was a big lesson.”

Four teams have come back to win a series after falling behind 0-3 in NHL postseason history, but only once has a reverse sweep happened in the Stanley Cup Final – more than 80 years ago, when the Toronto Maple Leafs rallied to defeat the Detroit Red Wings in 1942.

If they manage to come back and win the series, the Oilers will finally end a three-decade Stanley Cup drought for Canadian teams – the Montreal Canadiens were the last to lift the Cup back in 1993.

But the Panthers have a chance to clinch the title at Rogers Place on Friday and head coach Paul Maurice said, per the NHL: “Absolutely nothing has changed for our situation in the last two games except we learned some things. Some lessons we don’t need to learn. We’ve learned them enough, but we keep getting taught those lessons.”

How to watch

Game 6 will be broadcast at 8 p.m. ET on CBC, TVAS, SN, ESPN+ and ABC.

CNN’s Kevin Dotson contributed reporting.

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