SCF, Gm4: Panthers @ Oilers Recap

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers' depth forwards got things started, and their star players delivered the knockout punch to extend their season and the Stanley Cup Final at least one more game.

Connor McDavid had a goal and three assists, Dylan Holloway had two goals and an assist, and the Oilers defeated the Florida Panthers 8-1 in Game 4 at Rogers Place on Saturday.

The Panthers, the Eastern Conference champions, lead the best-of-7 series 3-1. Game 5 is at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Florida, on Tuesday.

"It's just one win, that's all it is," said McDavid, the Edmonton captain. "It doesn't matter if you score eight or you score one, it's just one win. We've got to go to Florida, do a job and drag them back to Alberta."

Mattias Janmark had a goal and an assist, Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman each had two assists, and Stuart Skinner made 32 saves for the Oilers, the Western Conference champions.

McDavid scored his first goal of the Stanley Cup Final and broke Wayne Gretzky's NHL record for most assists in a single postseason. He has 32; Gretzky's record of 31 was set in 1987-88 for the Oilers.

FLA@EDM SCF, Gm4: McDavid tallies four points in Game 4

Draisaitl, Hyman and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had his first point of the series. 

Nugent-Hopkins' goal was the Oilers’ first on the power play in the series. They were 0-for-12 before he connected on a 5-on-3.

Edmonton had 15 players with at least one point. 

"It's amazing what can happen when you don't beat yourself," Hyman said. "They're one of the best teams we've played against in terms of not beating themselves, not giving you anything from their mistakes. I think that's what comes from going to the Final last year and all that experience is just how fine the margins are. I think we pushed, and if we're able to push and limit our mistakes and we're able to take care of the puck, we're going to have a good chance."

Vladimir Tarasenko scored, and Sergei Bobrovsky allowed five goals on 16 shots for the Panthers before being replaced by Anthony Stolarz (16 saves) with 15:01 remaining in the second period. 

"I don't believe momentum at all because I would have been wrong at 3-0," Florida coach Paul Maurice said. "So you just reestablish your game and you come back in the fight. I'll fire at least one cliché for you so you have something there: We came into Edmonton to get a split and we got what we needed. But there's also reason for that. Most cliches have some merit. In general things will be far more extreme outside your room than inside. So, at 3-0 we're not sitting there getting the engravers out. We lost a game tonight. … There's going to be a Game 5."

FLA@EDM SCF, Gm4: Janmark tucks in SHG to kick off scoring

It was Janmark, Connor Brown, Adam Henrique and Holloway who got the Oilers going in the first period.

Janmark gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead at 3:11, scoring a short-handed goal off a 2-on-1 with Brown. 

"It hits a little more on the PK and the first goal of the game, so that was big," Janmark said.

Janmark helped Henrique make it 2-0 at 7:48. He won a puck battle with Niko Mikkola along the left-wing boards, Henrique got inside position in front on Anton Lundell, and Janmark found him for a redirection.

Tarasenko cut it to 2-1 at 11:26 with a netfront deflection of Gustav Forsling's shot.

Just 39 seconds later, Skinner came up with his most important save of the Cup Final, diving across from the left post to the right post to stop Carter Verhaeghe's one-timer from the right face-off circle to keep it a one-goal game at 12:05.

"Massive save," Hyman said. "Game-changing save. He was the better goalie."

Holloway extended the lead to 3-1 at 14:48, receiving a pass off the rush from Draisaitl and toe-dragging the puck ahead of himself on the backhand before putting it past Bobrovsky.

"That is depth scoring," Janmark said. "The top guys are going to carry their load a lot of nights, but there are going to have to be nights where we chip in. Tonight was one of those nights. It was big tonight and hopefully we can have one more of those or two more of those."

Edmonton's top guys took over in the second period.

McDavid scored off the rush to make it 4-1 at 1:13. He got the puck from Hyman in the middle of the offensive zone and ripped a shot past Bobrovsky.

Nurse made it 5-1 at 4:59, scoring from the top of the slot off a drop pass from McDavid for another goal off the rush.

Stolarz replaced Bobrovsky following Nurse's goal.

"He'd had enough," Maurice said of Bobrovsky. "If you think you're mounting a comeback it won't be because the goalie is making a difference for you, it'll be something that happens at the other end of the ice."

FLA@EDM SCF, Gm4: Holloway tucks in a backhand shot to extend the lead

Nugent-Hopkins' 5-on-3 power-play goal made it 6-1 at 13:03.

Holloway made it 7-1 at 14:11 of the third, and Ryan McLeod scored at 16:41 for the 8-1 final.

"We weren't together as five as much as we were in previous games and, yeah, they were flying all over the ice," Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk said. "So, you have to give a ton of credit to them. They played an unbelievable game. That's kind of the biggest thing they're known for is their rush game and their skill and making plays. Everybody, lines one through four and all six 'D,' they were making some crazy great plays. They looked awesome tonight and we didn’t have an answer."

NOTES: The Panthers had a six-game winning streak end. … The Oilers are the ninth team in Cup Final history to force Game 5 after falling behind 3-0. … There has not been a sweep in the Cup Final since 1998, when the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Washington Capitals. … The Oilers are 3-0 in potential elimination games in these Stanley Cup Playoffs. … Three teams in Cup Final history have forced Game 6 after losing the first three games of the series: the 2012 New Jersey Devils (lost to the Los Angeles Kings in six), 1945 Red Wings (lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven) and 1942 Maple Leafs (defeated the Red Wings in seven). Edmonton will try to become the first team in Cup Final history to win Game 5 on the road after falling behind 3-0 in the series.

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