scfgm4 big night in edm

EDMONTON -- The lights turned low at Rogers Place, and on the big, black scoreboard screens, the Edmonton Oilers posted a quote from captain Connor McDavid: “Just keep cheering. It’s not over until it’s over.”

It ain’t over yet.

The Oilers didn’t just avoid elimination in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday. They exploded for an 8-1 win against the Florida Panthers before their passionate, thunderous fans, giving them a home win in the Cup Final for the first time since 2006.

“We’ve got to go to Florida and do a job and drag them back to Alberta,” said McDavid, who had four points (one goal, three assists) and reached 32 assists in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, breaking the record Wayne Gretzky set with Edmonton in 1988.

Game 5 is at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Florida, on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, SN, TVAS, CBC).

What if the Oilers force a Game 6 here on Friday? Can you imagine the fans then?

“They were phenomenal,” forward Zach Hyman said. “We’ve got to go and win a game to give them another chance to be like this. I’m sure it’ll be crazy. Not getting ahead of ourselves, but I’m sure as an opposing team, it’s not a fun place to play.”

SCF, Gm4: Panthers @ Oilers Recap

Edmonton was incredible for Game 4, especially under the circumstances.

The fans knew the odds. Of the 210 previous teams to trail 3-0 in a best-of-7 series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, four came back to win it. One did it in the Cup Final: the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs against the Detroit Red Wings.

So what?

One fan held a sign with a line from the movie “Dumb and Dumber”: “So you’re saying there’s a chance.” A few fans held signs inspired by the TV show “Ted Lasso”: “BELIEVE.”

The fans had waited 18 years for the Oilers to return to the Cup Final, and they seemed determined to make the most of this. They were not going to go quietly. They were not going to give up.

“It’s the best fans in the world,” forward Connor Brown said. “I mean, this is the hockey mecca. We’re north of the border. We’re north, and they live and breathe it up here. I think that if any group can pull something off, we believe it’s our group, and I think our fans do too.”

More than 10,000 fans showed up for the Rogers Festival at the Final, packing a fenced area next to the arena and overflowing across the street. They watched a pregame concert by Canadian artist Shania Twain, who, in the face of the 3-0 deficit, led a chant.


Then 18,347 fans brought the noise inside the arena, singing “O Canada” at the tops of their lungs and chanting from the opening face-off to the final horn.


If they weren’t wearing Oilers jerseys in blue, orange or white, they wore costumes, including outfits that made them look like actual oil workers. They wore hard hats and wigs and even Viking horns. They pumped shiny orange pom-poms, cheered for Oilers alumni from Mark Messier to Zack Kassian to Ryan Whitney, and taunted Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.


“They’re so good, they’re so energetic, and it’s so loud in here,” said forward Dylan Holloway, who had three points (two goals, one assist). “They cheer for little things, it gets you fired up, and then you get more confidence, and if you do make a play, they get even crazier. It’s a pretty special environment.”

Most importantly, the Oilers, outscored 11-4 in the first three games, gave them something to cheer about.

Bobrovsky was pulled after allowing five goals on 16 shots. Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner made 32 saves, including a huge one on forward Carter Verhaeghe at 12:05 of the first period when the Oilers led 2-1. Fifteen Oilers had a point, and seven had a goal. It was on a 5-on-3, but the power play broke through for the first time in the series.

“It’s one win,” Hyman said. “It’s one win closer. The mentality is the same. The belief is the same. But it’s nice to go and do it and get a win and be able to get a couple past the goalie and show that we can do it, put a little doubt on the other side.”

Brown was asked if coming back from a 3-0 deficit would be the “Oilerest way” to win the Cup. He laughed.

The Oilers started the regular season 2-9-1, then went 47-18-5 the rest of the way, the best record in the NHL over that period. They had an eight-game winning streak and a 16-game winning streak.

In the Western Conference Second Round against the Vancouver Canucks, they fell behind 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2, and they won in seven games. In the conference final against the Dallas Stars, they fell behind 2-1, and they won in six games.

“It would just make sense, for the way the season’s gone,” Brown said. “It would just make sense. This has been a really unique season, and I think we’re a unique group, and I don’t think there’s a lot of situations where you can be down three games in the Stanley Cup Final and have that sense of belief, but we’re a unique team, and we genuinely do.”

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