Panthers win Stanley Cup in thrilling Game 7 over Oilers

Panthers win Stanley Cup in thrilling Game 7 over Oilers

Instead of being on the wrong side of history, the Florida Panthers have captured their first Stanley Cup in franchise history after defeating the Edmonton Oilers, 2-1, in a thrilling Game 7 on Monday night. 

The Panthers had a chance to get that first title last season, but fell in five games to the Vegas Golden Knights. The Oilers fought with all their might, battling back from 3-0 to become the first team since 1945 to force a Game 7 after being on the brink of defeat. 

But Florida fought off the Oilers’ desperation efforts to come out with the Stanley Cup in their possession. 


Sam Reinhart #13 of the Florida Panthers celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the second period of Game Seven of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final against the Edmonton Oilers at Amerant Bank Arena on June 24, 2024 in Sunrise, Florida. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

The first goal of the game came on an inauspicious heave to the net by Panthers winger Evan Rodrigues, who was simply looking for someone to potentially deflect it toward net. 

Well, that’s exactly what Carter Verhaeghe was there for, as his hand-eye coordination was on point with his blade redirecting the puck perfectly between Oilers netminder Stuart Skinner’s legs. 

The home crowd in Sunrise, Florida, went ballistic in the stands, as the Panthers, wanting desperately to get momentum going early, took the lead. It was Verhaeghe’s 11th goal of these Stanley Cup Playoffs. 


But a problem for Florida in the last three games were breakaway chances that Edmonton had capitalized on, and Mattias Janmark found himself with one later in the first period when Cody Ceci launched a beautiful pass down ice to his stick. 

Janmark made a quick move and flipped the puck just over Sergei Bobrovsky, who has had trouble with those chances for the Oilers of late. Janmark dropped down to one knee, as his Edmonton teammates celebrated his fourth goal of the playoffs. 

The second period saw more chances on both ends of the ice, and the Oilers were the ones that almost got the lead with loose pucks in Bobrovsky’s crease somehow not being pushed over the line. 

Then, Florida found themselves with a rush down ice, as Sam Reinhart took the puck up the right side. Instead of a defender moving up to Reinhart, the defense was worried about those joining the rush, but Reinhart had his eyes set on the net. 

He ripped a shot at Skinner, and Skinner couldn’t glove it as it found the back of the net instead. 

In the end, that was the decisive goal, though the Oilers certainly gave Bobrovsky and the Panthers some scares in the third period. 

Their best chance came on a solid forecheck, where Evan Bouchard slapped a pass to Connor McDavid in the front of the net. McDavid, whose back-to-back four-point performances in Games 4 and 5 help Edmonton get to this point in the series, looked like he was going to beat Bobrovsky, who couldn’t get his poke check to knock the puck away. 

However, Gustav Forsling had perhaps the most timely stick of this entire series, as he quickly dropped it to impede McDavid’s shot. The shot bounced around, but the play was whistled dead with multiple players trying to stuff the puck in the Panthers’ net. 

Carter Verhaeghe celebrates goal

Anton Lundell #15 and Carter Verhaeghe #23 of the Florida Panthers celebrate after Verhaeghe’s goal during the first period of Game Seven of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final against the Edmonton Oilers at Amerant Bank Arena on June 24, 2024 in Sunrise, Florida. (Elsa/Getty Images)

The Oilers had many chances in Florida’s end, but Bobrovksy and the Panthers’ defense stopped all attempts for well over five minutes.


It wasn’t easy, but this trip to the Stanley Cup didn’t end with a second-place finish for the Panthers, who have their names etched in the precious metal forever. 

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