SCF Game 7 live blog photo 5

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Welcome to Game 7 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final. After an 82-game regular season and three rounds of playoffs, it all came down to one game between the Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers. Editor-in-Chief Bill Price was at Amerant Bank Arena for this historic game to provide all the sights, sounds and highlights in our Game 7 live blog.

10:54 p.m. ET

And that’s it. The Florida Panthers are the 2023-24 Stanley Cup champions after a heart-stopping 2-1 win in Game 7 on Monday.

The Oilers gave it all they had, coming back from 3-0 in the series, but could not get it done tonight.

Congrats to the Panthers. It’s party time here.

Thanks for following along all series.

10:51 p.m. ET 

We have 1:35 left to go and this place is absolutely bonkers.

The Oilers are throwing everything they can at Sergei Bobrovsky but can’t score.

Connor McDavid had a nice tip attempt right in front with 2:40 left but missed the net.

The line of McDavid and Leon Draisaitl was out for a long time, and now the Oilers call time out to get them rest for one more push.

10:47 p.m. ET

The fans in the lower bowl have been pretty much standing this entire third period, and really, how could you sit down? This game has it all, and it’s still not decided with 3:29 to go.

Can the Oilers tie it? Can the Panthers hold on? When do you pull Stuart Skinner if you are the Oilers? Do all the fans heading to the Elbo Room postgame know it’s a cash-only place?

The Panthers are putting on some offensive pressure, with Aleksander Barkov and Vladimir Tarasenko getting decent shots on goal.

Now “Livin’ On a Prayer” by Bon Jovi is playing and even after it stops, the entire arena is singing along. Will the Panthers or Oilers have their prayers answered?

10:41 p.m. ET

The Oilers keep pushing and pushing, but time is winding down. There is now 5:54 left in the third period, and the Panthers still lead 2-1.

Sergei Bobrovsky, who looked a bit shaky in Games 4-6, is sharp tonight, with 20 saves so far.

It’s very tense in here, with the fans ready to party but knowing one goal from Edmonton can change the whole complexion of this game, this series, this entire season.

10:37 p.m. ET

The Oilers nearly tied it with a scramble in front, but Connor McDavid and then Zach Hyman can’t pull the trigger with the puck near their sticks and the net wide open.

It looks like Gustav Forsling made the play to take the puck off McDavid’s stick and then Hyman, who was on his knees, couldn’t get enough on his shot.

My goodness.

Don’t go anywhere.

A few minutes before that scramble, Sam Reinhart of the Panthers had the chance to pretty much end this game, but Leon Draisaitl made a good defensive play to keep it a one-goal game. Now, the Oilers need a goal to tie the game.

10:31 p.m. ET

We have 9:13 to play, and it’s desperation time for the Oilers.

Coach Kris Knoblauch just had Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on the ice at the same time in an attempt to get a goal, which is what they need to tie this game and prevent the Panthers from winning the Cup.

One interesting stat for the Oilers: McDavid has zero points and two shots on goal in the past two games. Clearly, Florida focused on shutting him down.

There is still a sentiment that even if Edmonton loses this game, he could still be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, but that will be a bitter pill for him to swallow if he can’t win the Cup.

The Oilers are trying to make a push, forcing a few icings from the Panthers, but again, have nothing to show for it as far as a goal.

10:23 p.m. ET

The Oilers dodged a huge bullet at the end of the power play with Sam Bennett somehow getting the puck on his stick all alone in the crease, but Stuart Skinner shut the door to keep it a 2-1 game.

The Florida power play fails again, and Edmonton still has a chance with under 14 minutes to play. It feels like much more than a one-goal lead, but that’s all it is.

The Panthers seem to have two players near Connor McDavid every time he touches the puck, which is smart. You have to figure we are going to see a ton of McDavid in the last 12:52 of this game.

The fans are chanting “Let’s Go Panthers,” and as each second ticks down, the excitement grows, but so does the angst. This could be the longest 13 minutes in the lives of anyone associated with the Panthers.

For the Oilers, it will probably go too fast.

10:17 p.m. ET

The Oilers are trying desperately to score, maybe too much. Evan Bouchard just took a penalty for high sticking, and Florida has a chance to build its lead on a power play that has not been very good. A goal here could lock up the Cup with the way this one is going.

The fans are chanting “Skin-ner, Skin-ner” at Stuart Skinner. I think they stole that from Bart Simpson, who I’m sure has heckled his favorite principal.

10:12 p.m. ET

And what could be the final period of the 2023-24 NHL season is underway.

The Panthers are 20 minutes from the Stanley Cup. The Oilers need a goal to keep the season going.

What will happen?

By the way, can you name the last team to win Game 7 of the Cup Final despite trailing in the third period? That’s right, the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, the last team to win a Cup Final after losing the first three games.

Here we go.

9:54 p.m. ET

We have one period of regulation hockey left in the 2023-24 season, which is somewhat hard to believe, but here we are.

The Florida Panthers, who lost in the Cup Final last season, are 20 minutes away from winning the Cup for the first time and preventing what would have been an epic collapse.

The Edmonton Oilers, who have had such a magical season, bouncing back time after time, need a goal and need to stop Florida from scoring to keep their season alive a little longer.

9:49 p.m. ET

We have 1:24 left here in the second, and it’s 2-1 Florida.

One reason the Panthers lost Games 4-6 was because Carter Verhaeghe and Sam Reinhart were somewhat non-factors, but that is not the case tonight. Verhaeghe has a goal and an assist, and Reinhart has what is now the go-ahead goal, coming at 15:11 of the second.

There is a shovel break with 1:24 left in the second, this place is rocking, and the Oilers are in need of something positive. They have actually played a pretty strong second period, but one breakdown and a goal Stuart Skinner would like to have back are the difference.

There was just a T-shirt toss, but no sign of T-shirt guy from Edmonton.

But Stanley C Panther is up on the seats getting the fans even more wound up than they are with a 2-1 lead and the Stanley Cup 21:24 away.

9:42 p.m. ET

The Panthers take the lead on an innocent-looking wrist shot from Sam Reinhart with 4:49 left in the second. As great as Stuart Skinner has been in the Final, that's one he has to stop.

EDM@FLA SCF, Gm7: Kulikov makes great play, then Reinhart scores

Right before the goal, the Oilers had two very Panthers-like shifts in the second, keeping control in the offensive zone. The first was helped by a huge defensive play by Connor McDavid at the blue line. It was 1-1 with about eight minutes left in the second. The second long shift was with Leon Draisaitl's line out there.

We have a fan who may be taking the emotional support animal thing a bit too far. They just showed someone seated against the glass with a dog on their lap.

I wonder if they told the dog they were going to the cat show.

The DJ just did another flashback to the '90s by playing “Bulls on Parade,” by Rage Against the Machine. I guess those songs now qualify as oldies, which is sad.

9:30 p.m. ET

We have 13:54 left in the second period, and it’s still a 1-1 game. Floirda is outshooting Edmonton 11-10, and it’s looking like this will be a low-scoring game with every shot, every save, every pass crucial.

The Panthers just showed former Panthers defenseman Ed Jovanoski on the big board, and he was wearing a Matthew Tkachuk T-shirt.

Speaking of T-shirts, the T-shirt guy from Edmonton is in South Florida. spies spotted him at the Elbo Room last night. They say he was wearing only one T-shirt.

Also at the Elbo Room last night was former NFL QB Donovan McNabb, who is related to Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse.

They just showed four guys in the crowd with C-A-T-S spelled on their bodies, a la David Puddy.

9:25 p.m. ET

It’s perhaps the biggest PK of the season for Florida, which keeps the game tied, stopping Edmonton’s vaunted power play.

Even more impressive, Florida forward Kevin Stenlund broke his stick, so Florida really had 3 1/2 guys for a bit.

The fans are chanting "Bob-by, Bob-by" after he made a big save on Evan Bouchard at the end of the man-advantage.

Still the power play seemed to give Edmonton some momentum after it was on its heals for the early part of the game and this period.

9:20 p.m. ET

The Oilers are heading to the power after Matthew Tkachuk gets called for a trip.

He was sliding on the ice and took out the legs of Warren Foegele. The fans and Tkachuck are not happy.

The second period has begun and the sentiment in the press box is that the Oilers are lucky this is still a 1-1 game.

It is the best period the Panthers have played in quite some time, outshooting the Oilers 8-6 and spending a lot of time in their zone.

They got their forecheck working, created some scoring chances, including two open shots from the slot where Florida players fired wide to Stuart Skinner’s blocker side.

They came out strong in the second as well, with Tkachuck getting a nice deflection of a Brandon Montour shot on goal, but Skinner was in perfect position to gobble it up.

Connor McDavid, who was somewhat quiet in the first period, had a good chance early in the second, lifting a backhand shot on goal, but Sergei Bobrovsky shut it down, prompting “Bob-by, Bob-by” chants from the crowd.

I am in a lower part of the press box, so by the time I got to the snacks, the Hershey miniatures were gone. Boo.

8:58 p.m. ET

A wild first period is over, and it’s 1-1.

After a goal for each team in the first 6:44 of the game, things settled down from a goal perspective, but not an action standpoint. There were good chances on each end of the ice, but Stuart Skinner and Sergei Bobrovsky have been up to the challenge.

They just played “Narco” by Blasterjaxx and Timmy Trumpet here to the get fans fired up, but all it did was anger me about the Edwin Diaz situation. It is his song by the way.

They really do a great job here in Florida honoring older war veterans. It’s really great and the fans get a big charge out of it.

A few minutes ago, the DJ played “Machinehead” by Bush. That takes me back to the '90s. Actually, that album, "Sixteen Stone" came out 30 years ago, in 1994, when the Stanley Cup Final also went 7 games and was won by an Eastern team against a team from Western Canada.


The DJ also played “Fight for Your Right” by Beastie Boys, which, hard to believe, it almost 40 years old. Really, what the heck?

8:46 p.m. ET

We have our second shovel break with 5:50 left in the first period. The Oilers seem to have gotten a big lift from the Janmark goal that tied the game 1-1, but they haven’t been able to take the lead.

There has been an adjustment with shots on the goal -- the Panthers now lead 5-4. One shot that didn’t register was an absolute bomb from Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard that appeared to hit the post.

By the way, I’ve been waiting all season to be at a game on Monday when Ryan Lomberg plays just so I can work “case of the Mondays” into the conversation. If you know, you know. And I was so happy to hear that the Panthers forward was playing tonight.

If only Michael Bolton could’ve sung the anthems. I celebrate the guy’s entire catalog.

8:39 p.m. ET

Since I can barely hear myself think, I’m not sure how this game sounds on TV, but believe me, this is the loudest I have heard a hockey arena in a long time.

I was telling Nick Cotsonika earlier that while this is going to go down as a classic series, there hasn’t really been an all-time classic game yet, but that appears to be changing tonight.

The Oilers just had a really good possession, but the Panthers kept them off the board. The shots are even at 6-6 and the score is 1-1 with 9:09 left in the first period and our first shovel break.

8:35 p.m. ET

This is turning into a classic, and we are only 6:46 into the game. With the arena absolutely buzzing with Florida leading 1-0, Mattias Janmark evens things up, coming in on a breakaway on a brilliant pass from Cody Ceci and beating Sergei Bobrovsky

It has temporarily tempered the enthusiasm in this place, which was at a fever pitch after the Panthers goal.

EDM@FLA SCF, Gm7: Janmark evens the game at 1 with breakaway goal

8:31 p.m. ET

The Panthers power play does not score, but it doesn’t matter.

Seconds after the Florida power play fails again, Carter Verhaeghe deflects in a shot from Evan Rodrigues, and it’s 1-0 Florida and this place is literally shaking.

Florida got the man-advantage at 2:21 when Warren Foegele went off for high sticking.

On the bright side for Florida, at least Edmonton didn’t score a short-handed goal like it did in Games 5 and 6.

The atmosphere in this place electric, with fans cheering every hit, every pass. Though I predicted there would be a plenty of Oilers fans here tonight, the Panthers fans are making noise, especially now after Verhaeghe’s goal.

The Panthers are bringing out all the stops with Hockey Hall of Fame goalie Roberto Luongo banging the drum to get the fans riled up.

EDM@FLA SCF, Gm7: Verhaeghe's incredible redirection goal opens the scoring

8:19 p.m. ET

The anthems by Alanis Morissette are over, the players have been introduced, and it’s go time.

Honestly, it was hard to hear Alanis singing since all the fans were singing along with both anthems. It was awesome.

Matthew Tkachuk said Sunday that tonight might be the loudest rink he’s ever played in, and he might be right. It’s deafening in here.

No more talking, no more sound bites, just 60 minutes (maybe more) to decide who will hoist the Stanley Cup when this night is over.

Buckle up and enjoy. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Before the players came on the ice, Steve Goldstein, aka Goldy, told the fans via the videoboard that the Panthers need them tonight.

They sound ready as there was a loud boo when the Oilers starting lineup was posted on the board.

What they need is an early goal to get them started. They have trailed 2-0 in each of the past three games, all losses, and quite honestly, have not looked very good doing it.

But everything that has happened in the regular season and all previous playoff games doesn’t matter now. It all comes down to just one game for hockey immortality.

8:05 p.m. ET

We’ve had our first press box mishap with me spilling half of my cup of regular M&Ms. This after International’s Corey Hersch spilled coffee on our work table during the morning avails.

Could be a case of us all have Game 7 jitters.

This is the second Cup Final Game 7 I have been a part of with the NHL, the other the St. Louis Blues’ win over the Boston Bruins in 2019.

I can’t imagine how amped up the players are and how nervous the fans of the teams are.

As I stated earlier, there are a good number of Oilers fans in the house, including one big group right next to the Oilers bench.

The team did fly about 200 friends and family members down for the game, so that could be them.

Nick Cotsonika, who was in the Edmonton airport on Sunday morning, ran into a group of fans who chartered a plane down here. Last night, while I was doing some “reporting” at the Elbo Room, I met a few fans who decided on Saturday morning to head here and get tickets for the game. I believe they said their airfare was about $2,500 Canadian and the tickets to the game were about $1,000 each. That’s dedication.

But like I said, I get the sense the Oilers fans think this game is already in the bag, but I’m sure the Panthers will have something to say about that.

We are getting ready for Alanis Morissette to sing “O Canada” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Hopefully the fans down here will be as respectful as they were in Edmonton and let the singer sing.

I mean, they oughta know to be quiet. Either way, the fans of the winning team will be head over feet when this is over. As for the losing fans, well, you learn to deal with defeat.

OK, that’s enough Morissette jokes.

And speaking of the Bruins, they have traded goalie Linus Ullmark, the same goalie who won the Vezina Trophy last season, to the Ottawa Senators for forward Mark Kastelic, goalie Joonas Korpisalo and Boston’s own first-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, which was previously acquired by Ottawa as part of the trade of Alex DeBrincat to the Detroit Red Wings.

7:45 p.m. ET

They just played “All My Life” by Foo Fighters before the players hit the ice. We clearly know what side the Panthers are on in this Dave Grohl-Taylor Swift feud.

Even before the warmups began, “Let’s Go Oilers” chants were being started by the folks who made the trek from Edmonton to South Florida, but the Panthers fans let their voices be heard when the players hit the ice.

In addition to the Stanley Cup, think about what else is on the line tonight.

On the Florida side, you have the Panthers, who made it their mission to win the Cup after losing in the Cup Final last season. How devastating would it be to go up 3-0 and not win it?

Then you have Panthers coach Paul Maurice, who has been coaching in the NHL for 30 years and has never won the Cup. This one game could define his entire career. It may not be fair, but contextually, that’s the case. The same could be said for Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who, at 35 years old, may never get this chance again.

On the Edmonton side, you have Connor McDavid, who is already an all-time great, but his legacy would be cemented if he can lead the Oilers back from down 3-0 to win the Cup.

There are some celebs in the house tonight. Some of the crew rode up to the press box in the elevator with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. When I was coming up, Papa John Schnatter was waiting for an elevator.

7:15 p.m. ET

We are about an hour away from what many people are calling the biggest game in the history of the NHL. There is certainly an argument to be made that is the case. First, you have the Panthers trying to win the Stanley Cup for the first time. Then you have the Oilers looking to become the first team since 1942 to win the best-of-7 Final after losing the first three games, and leading the way is Connor McDavid, considered by most people to be the best player in the NHL. The Final has drawn record TV ratings in the United States and Canada, and you can bet a huge audience is going to tune in for this one. I can’t wait.

One thing to look for is plenty of Oilers fans in the building tonight. The Elbo Room, the fabled hockey bar on the Fort Lauderdale beach, was packed with Oilers fans Sunday night, with “Let’s Go Oilers” chants breaking out all night. Thousands of Oilers fans have made the long trek to South Florida from Alberta and have paid in the thousands for tickets, so again, expect to see some orange jerseys mixed in among the red Panthers jerseys. There was even a plane flying over the arena a few hours before puck drop with a “Go Oil” sign. And about an hour before warmups, there were already a bunch of Oilers fans lining the glass.

It looks like Kyle Okposo will be back in the lineup for the Panthers tonight, and we are not sure if the Oilers will change anything. Why would they? They have been dominant in the past three games. But again, this is a new game, one game for the Stanley Cup. Does it get any better than this?

And now there are rumblings that Canadian music star Alanis Morissette will sing the U.S. and Canada anthems tonight. Isn’t that ironic?

Related Content