NHL final series: Draisaitl and Edmonton miss the Stanley Cup miracle

NHL final series: Draisaitl and Edmonton miss the Stanley Cup miracle

Status: 25.06.2024 05:10 a.m.

The dream of a Stanley Cup miracle after a 0-3 deficit in the NHL final series against the Florida Panthers has been shattered for Leon Draisaitl and the Edmonton Oilers.

In the decisive seventh match, the Panthers won 2-1 (1-1, 1-0, 0-0) after a terrific battle on Tuesday night (June 25, 2024/CEST). The Oilers missed the chance to crown their historic comeback. A win would have made them the first team since the 1941/42 season to turn a 0-3 deficit into a 4-3. It would have been Edmonton’s sixth triumph – and Draisaitl’s first. Instead, the defensively strong Panthers took the first triumph in their club’s history, thanks in large part to their outstanding goalie Sergei Bobrovski.

Stanley Cup Finals Arrow right

Strong start for the Panthers

The fact that the “momentum” often quoted in US sports after three wins in a row should be with the Oilers was not apparent immediately after the first face-off. Florida appeared highly concentrated, sharp in the tackles and took control of the neutral zone. Consequently, the hosts took the lead 1-0 in the 5th minute through Carter Verhaeghe.

But the Oilers quickly recovered, launched their attacks more consistently and equalized just two minutes later through the Swede Mattias Janmark to make it 1:1. It went back and forth until the first break, but both goalie Bobrovski for the Panthers and Edmonton’s keeper Stuart Skinner were unbeatable.

Edmonton puts pressure on, but Florida scores

In the second period, the Oilers wanted to force the decision and put extreme pressure on the Panthers’ goal. Draisaitl also got into the game really well and had some very good shots, especially on the power play from the 24th minute onwards. But either a Florida defender got in the way, Bobrovski parried or the puck flew just past the goal.

The ice-cold shower then came during a poorly defended break in the 36th minute: Sam Reinhart was allowed to drive unhindered into the Oilers’ third. And when he still felt no resistance eight meters from the goal, he slammed the puck into the short corner to make it 2-1 – Skinner didn’t exactly look brilliant.

Forward line changed – but Brobovski holds everything

In the final third, Florida had the upper hand again and pushed for the decision. After a penalty for Even Bouchard, Sam Bennett suddenly appeared completely free in front of Skinner, who made a brilliant save this time. Edmonton survived the two minutes in the minority and then threw everything into it again.

Draisaitl now played in a forward line with Zach Hyman and Connor McDavid, a clear sign that Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch wanted to combine all his forces for the equalizer. But despite constant power and the best chances for McDavid, Bouchard and Draisaitl, Brobovski, who was outstanding in game seven, kept his goal clean until the final whistle.

Previously five German Stanley Cup champions

In the end, the miracle failed to happen and Draisaitl must continue to wait to become the sixth German Stanley Cup winner. Uwe Krupp achieved the first triumph in 1996 with the Colorado Avalanche (against Florida), and Krupp won the Stanley Cup again in 2002 with the Detroit Red Wings. Besides Krupp, only Tom Kühnhackl (2016 and 2017 with the Pittsburgh Penguins) was successful twice. Dennis Seidenberg (2011 with the Boston Bruis), Philipp Grubauer (2018 with the Washington Capitals) and Nico Sturm (2022 with Colorado) also celebrated the title in the NHL.

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