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Oilers’ high-powered offense held in check again, and they head home in 0-2 series hole in Cup final

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Oilers' high-powered offense held in check again, and they head home in 0-2 series hole in Cup final

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The Edmonton Oilers left Sport 1 of the Stanley Cup Ultimate feeling fairly good.

They had been shut out three objectives to none, nevertheless it took a monumental efficiency from Florida Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to neutralize their offensive firepower.

The Oilers weren’t shutout Monday night time, however the outcome was the identical — one other loss, this one placing Edmonton in an 0-2 gap because the collection shifts to Canada.

“We simply should take it one sport at a time,” mentioned Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch. “I don’t see any purpose to panic or do something drastic. If we win one in every of these, which I believe we had been able to doing, we’re actually completely happy. So I don’t wish to get too caught up in we’re down two-nothing.”

One of many highest-scoring groups within the NHL, Edmonton has managed only one purpose within the first two video games of the ultimate.

The Panthers outshot the Oilers 22-7 by way of the primary two durations Monday.

Edmonton’s seven photographs on purpose by way of 40 minutes had been the fewest by a crew by way of two durations of a Stanley Cup Ultimate since Sport 6 of the 2006 championship collection when the Carolina Hurricanes managed that many on purpose towards the Oilers.

That’s one sport after Edmonton outshot the Panthers 32-18 in a Sport 1 efficiency that star Connor McDavid described as a confidence booster.

McDavid, who was stored off the scoresheet in Sport 1, assisted Mattias Ekholm on Edmonton’s solely purpose of the night time. It was a 4-on-4 shot on the Oilers’ first shot on purpose of the sport.

McDavid leads all postseason scorers with 32 factors however nonetheless has not scored on this collection regardless of quite a few alternatives, together with on a breakaway late within the third Monday night time, solely to be denied by Bobrovsky once more.

“We’ve obtained to be higher,” McDavid mentioned. “I believed they went up a degree (from Sport 1) and we didn’t match them at present.”

Knoblauch mentioned the Panthers have made it robust on Edmonton defensively, however enjoying shorthanded additionally harm them.

Edmonton’s Warren Foegele was ejected within the first interval for a knee-on-knee hit that knocked Florida’s Eetu Luostarinen from the sport briefly. Defenseman Darnell Nurse was injured in that interval, leaving the Oilers with solely 11 forwards and 5 defensemen for a lot of the sport.

“We missed Foegele along with his velocity,” Knoblauch mentioned, “the quantity of penalties took away the move of the sport a bit bit, however I believe we weren’t as environment friendly breaking the puck out as we had been within the first sport.”

Edmonton’s different star, the 2020 league MVP Leon Draisaitl, nonetheless has no factors within the collection and hasn’t been a lot of an element. Draisaitl was penalized for roughing within the third interval when he shoved Florida captain Aleksander Barkov.

“I definitely have much more to provide,” Draisaitl mentioned. “Not my finest tonight. Clearly I’m proudly owning that. We’ll regroup and ensure I’ll be higher in Sport 3.”

Regardless of no objectives from the Oilers highly effective duo thus far within the collection, Knoblauch indicated he was pleased with the play of his stars.

“Yeah we’d like some extra objectives, however I believe our prime guys have been fairly good,” he mentioned.

Goalie Stuart Skinner, for his half, adopted his 15-save efficiency within the opener with 25 on Monday night time.

The expertise of the Panthers, who had been within the closing only a yr in the past, has clearly annoyed the Oilers, and Florida has discovered a solution to restrict them at what they do finest — Edmonton got here into the collection with the very best energy play within the postseason at 37.3%, however is now 0 for 7.

“We’ve got to work our manner out of it,” McDavid mentioned, “it all the time begins with work with our group. They’re a novel penalty kill, identical to they’re a novel crew. They’re aggressive, we’ve to have guys prepared for the puck, we’ve to have guys making good performs. We’ve got to string good performs collectively and we haven’t been in a position to do this.”

Edmonton, down 0-2 for the primary time within the postseason, now has to perform a feat that few groups have ever executed in Stanley Cup Ultimate historical past. Solely 5 groups in 54 tries have misplaced the primary two video games of the ultimate and are available again to win.

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AP NHL playoffs: https://apnews.com/hub/stanley-cup and https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL

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