Ice Hockey
Panthers Bounce Back Strong In Edmonton, Defeat Oilers 5-1
Panthers Bounce Back Strong In Edmonton, Defeat Oilers 5-1
May 22, 2024 10:38 PM

After two consecutive rough games out West, the Florida Panthers got back on track Saturday night in Edmonton, defeating the Oilers 5-1.

Sergei Bobrovsky had 38 saves in his 14th win of the season. The Panthers’ goaltender also picked up his first regular season point as a Panther.

Two games into the Western Conference portion of their current road trip, the Panthers had been snake bitten.

Entering Saturday’s contest, the Panthers were shutout in their past two games, which was the first time in 12 years that’s happened to them.

5:53 into the first, Carter Verhaeghe finally broke the drought — scoring Florida’s first goal in three games.

The Panthers as a whole will be relieved that they broke free of their short but troublesome scoreless spell. One of their top defensemen will also be happy with the events of Saturday night.

Brandon Montour gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead with 62 seconds remaining in the first period — his first goal of the season.

Montour led all Panthers defensemen in scoring last season with 73 points (fifth amongst all NHL defensemen). This season, Montour didn’t play in his first game until mid November due to an injury he picked up at the end of last postseason. He had just two assists and no goals in 13 games up until Saturday night.

“It’s one of those that producing wise isn’t always going to be there,” Montour said to Bally Sports Florida’s’ reporter Katie Engelson. “I just wanted to play, get the confidence back, play hard defensively… hopefully I can keep building off that. Felt good to get that one.”

Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov would add to the lead, scoring his 11th goal of the season less than 30 seconds after Montour’s.

Florida went into the break up 3-0 on the Oilers, who were 8-1-0 in their last nine entering Saturday.

The Oilers were able to get on the board 8:08 into the second, courtesy of Zach Hyman’s 18th goal of the season. Connor McDavid picked up an assist on the play, extending his point streak to 12 games.

Edmonton picked up the pressure in the second and had Florida on their heels for most of the period.

If it wasn’t for a stellar performance in net from Bobrovsky, the Oilers could’ve made it a closer game in the second.

“It’s fun to play those games against a really good offensive team”, Bobrovsky said. “I was involved in the game and it was fun.”

With the Panthers on the power play, they would reclaim a three-goal lead off a great individual play from Sam Bennett. Bennett capped off a three-point with a nice rush on the power play to score his fourth goal of the season, putting the Panthers up 4-1 late in the second.

“We needed another line (to contribute) besides the Barkov line and Bennett was great tonight. Their line was great tonight,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said.

As they did in the first two periods, Florida would begin the third in the same fashion — scoring goals.

Carter Verhaeghe quickly foiled any hope of an Edmonton comeback just 21 seconds into the period with his second goal of the game, 15th of the season.

Following Saturday’s win, the Panthers are 2-2-o on the road trip with one game remaining.

Florida can finish off their longest road trip of the year above .500 with a win on Monday night in Calgary. This will be the first of two matchups against the Flames.

Panthers Notes

Forwards Anton Lundell and Jonah Gadjovich both missed their second consecutive game due to illness.

Defenseman Aaron Ekblad, who left Thursday’s game in Vancouver with a lower-body injury, was also not in the lineup as a precaution, according to Maurice.

Forward Will Lockwood drew into the lineup after being called up from Charlotte yesterday.

Defensemen Josh Mahura, who picked up a lower-body in November, played his first game in a month — filling in for Ekblad.

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