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Oilers Need to Tilt Ice vs Panthers as Stanley Cup Shifts to Edmonton

The Edmonton Oilers will have an extra day to figure out ways to get their high-powered offense going while the Florida Panthers hope the additional 24 hours helps captain Aleksander Barkov be 100 percent for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Thursday.

The Oilers had a 32-18 edge in shots for Game 1 and were blanked 3-0. Edmonton scored the first goal in Game 2 and allowed the last four. Something must change after the 2,541-mile trek home to Rogers Place, other than the Oilers becoming the favorite in the NHL odds.

Oilers Need to Tilt Ice vs Panthers as Stanley Cup Shifts to Edmonton
Stuart Skinner #74 of the Edmonton Oilers - Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP

Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 50 of 51 shots to allow the Panthers to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series and the Russian veteran has improved his playoff save percentage to .916.


It might get tougher for Bobrovsky if Barkov can’t go. The Selke Trophy winner is questionable for Game 3 with an upper-body injury. Stay tuned for late NHL news.


Oilers Seek Some Home Cooking

Edmonton was fourth in the league in scoring, fourth on the power play and first in shots on goal during the regular season.

The Oilers have not been able to solve the Bobrovsky puzzle and the Panthers improved their play on defense in Game 2. Defenseman Mattias Ekholm has the only goal in the series for Edmonton.

We feel we came here and we played well enough to get a split,” Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch told reporters. “That doesn’t always happen. We just have to take it one game at a time. I don’t see any reason to panic or do anything drastic. … We just have to win the next game.

Edmonton is 0-for-7 on the power play in the series after going 4-for-5 in the final two games of the Western Conference finals against Dallas. The Oilers had just one shot on their four tries with the man advantage in Game 2.

Connor McDavid (32 points), Leon Draisaitl (28) and defenseman Evan Bouchard (28) all play for Edmonton and are the top three scorers in the playoffs. It’s time for the Oilers to find the net or their season is over.



Barkov Improving, Still Uncertain for Game 3

Barkov, a factor on both sides of the ice as Florida’s No. 1 center, took a high hit from Draisaitl midway through the third period of Game 2 and did not return.

His status is uncertain for Game 3, but Panthers coach Paul Maurice seemed hopeful with the media on Tuesday if you are betting online.

We had some things that needed to be looked at today that got looked at,” Maurice told reporters. “There’s nothing sinister there. He kind of passed that. He felt better (Tuesday). Feels good. But you’ve got to give it another 24 hours to make sure that he feels strong.

Barkov often faces the opponent’s top lines and is tied for the team lead in points (19), averaging 21:31 per game. Draisaitl did not receive any supplemental punishment for the hit, but teammate Sam Carrick was fined for slashing Florida’s Dmitry Kulikov in Game 2

Meanwhile, Edmonton defenseman Darnell Nurse’s status is uncertain due to an undisclosed injury after he missed all but 4:20 of Game 2. Nurse has three assists, but is a disappointing -15 in the playoffs.


Evan Rodrigues Cashing Prop Bets

Jack Eichel had eight assists in five games during the finals to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup last June. This year, Eichel’s former linemate at Boston University is off to a great start recording goals.

Evan Rodrigues scored once in Game 1 and twice in Game 2 to help the Panthers pull away. The 30-year-old converted on all three shots on net to give him six goals in the playoffs.


Rodrigues is playing for his third team in three years and fourth overall, boasting 10 goals in 35 playoff games. The Toronto native has played with Sam Bennett and Matthew Tkachuk the last two games. He said he is trying to “stay in the moment.”

He’s a super smart player and I’m really happy to see him get rewarded,” Tkachuk told reporters of Rodrigues. “We work so hard, and tonight it was him and it could’ve been a number of guys.

You can still get +450 odds at the sportsbook for a Rodrigues goal in Game 3.



Odds and information are accurate at the time of writing. Please check with official sources for the latest updates before placing any bets.


Questions of the Day

What player has been on the ice the most for Florida in the first two games?

Gustav Forsling. The defenseman has logged 23:48 per game.

Who leads Edmonton in shots on goal in the series?

McDavid. The three-time Hart Trophy winner has nine shots and one assist.

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