Watch CBS News

Stanley Cup Final: Oilers force Game 7, beat Panthers in Edmonton 5-1

Fans react to another loss by the Panthers
Fans react to another loss by the Panthers 01:24

The Florida Panthers fell to the Edmonton Oilers 5-1 on Friday night at Rogers Place arena in Edmonton, Canada. The series now heads back to South Florida for a decisive Game 7 on Monday night.

Leon Draisaitl set up Warren Foegele's early goal, Adam Henrique and Zach Hyman scored in the second period and the Edmonton Oilers.  

They are the first team to tie the final after falling behind 3-0 in the series since the Detroit Red Wings in 1945. The Oilers have the chance Monday night in Sunrise to join the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs as the only NHL teams to come all the way back from that deficit to hoist the Stanley Cup.  

"There was an unshakable belief," Hyman said. "No matter what happened throughout the year, we always believed we could pull through. No matter how dire the circumstances, we think we have a chance. It was a long season facing adversity which prepared us. The next one will be the hardest. It feels unbelievable to do it in front of this crowd. To have a chance to win now, this is our first opportunity to win."

The opportunity to make hockey history and end Canada's three-decade-long Cup drought exists only after Connor McDavid's heroics with four points apiece in Games 4 and 5 to take the Oilers from the brink to belief. Draisaitl, his longtime running mate from Germany who has also been league MVP and considered among the best players in the world, lit the spark in Game 5 after being largely ineffective against the Panthers, while McDavid was scoreless Friday.

The goalie everyone calls "Bob" was hardly to blame, though, with mistakes in front of him also contributing to the 2-on-1 rush that ended with Henrique beating Bobrovsky off a 2-on-1 rush off a perfect pass from Mattias Janmark. The Panthers in front of their goaltender looked tight and timid and unlike the juggernaut that reached the final for a second consecutive year and won the first three games to move to the verge of the first title in franchise history.

Florida had just six shots on net midway through the game and finished with 21.

The Cats had led the best-of-seven series 3 games to none, but the Oilers fought back to the dismay of Panthers fans everywhere.

The Panthers seemingly unsurmountable 3-0 series lead ended at Edmonton last Saturday night in Game 4 as the Cats got rolled, losing 8-1.

That loss was followed by a 5-3 loss at home for the Cats last Tuesday night.

A historic night may yet await the Cats, who seek their first NHL championship since their inaugural season 30 years ago.

So, what's one more night? when it's taken 30 seasons, 457 different players, 18 different coaches, about two decades of irrelevance wedged in there along the way, rumors of contraction, rumors of relocation, and who knows how many bad nights to get to this moment.

The fans will have to wait until Monday night to possibly continue the tradition of throwing plastic rats onto the ice.

Win and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will hand the Cup to the Cats for the first time.

This developing story will be updated as soon as more details become available. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.