SUNRISE, FL – The tables turned for the Oilers on Saturday.

Six days after getting outshot 34-10 but winning 2-1 over the Dallas Stars in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final, Edmonton was all over Florida in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final with a 32-18 shot advantage, but the Panthers prevailed 3-0 on the strength of a shutout from Sergei Bobrovsky.

"Maybe it was the hockey gods getting us back for that Game 6 where we probably didn't deserve to win," Oilers captain Connor McDavid said. "Tonight, maybe we deserved at least one goal, maybe two goals, and we don't find a way to get them. I know this group will stick with it and bounce back. That's what we take a lot of pride in doing."

The lopsided shot advantage, coupled with an 18-6 lead in high-danger scoring chances per Natural Stat Trick, gave the Oilers plenty of optimism despite the Game 1 defeat.

"(Bobrovsky) made some big saves, but I liked our game," said Zach Hyman, who was credited with three of the Oilers shots in the opener. "If we play like we did today, I'm very confident in our group."

Bobrovsky stymies the Oilers in the first game of the Cup Final


The Oilers opened the series with a strong shift from the top line of McDavid, Hyman and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but Bobrovsky and the Panthers weathered the early storm and were able to draw first blood in Game 1 at the 3:59 mark of the frame courtesy their number one trio.

Aleksander Barkov, Sam Reinhart and Carter Verhaeghe created a three-on-two breakout, with Reinhart streaking down the right side and flpping a pass to the slot for Barkov, who found Verhaeghe cutting hard to the net from the opposite wing for his team-leading 10th tally of the playoffs.

The Panthers had a chance to extend their lead a few minutes later when Mattias Ekholm was called for tripping, but the Oilers killed their 29th consecutive penalty to stay within a goal.

Zach speaks following Saturday's 3-0 defeat in Game 1

Edmonton got their turn on the power play later in the frame when McDavid was hauled down by Gustav Forsling, but they were unable to convert, with Nugent-Hopkins getting the best scoring chance as his backhand deke was denied by Bobrovsky after Leon Draisaitl sent him in alone on the netminder.

Despite the deficit on the scoreboard, the Oilers dominated the play in the opening 20 minutes, leading scoring chances 12-4 and high-danger scoring chances 7-1 per Natural Stat Trick.

"Hockey is a funny game," Hyman said. "The key is to not get frustrated and just continue to play. You play your game and that's why it's a seven-game series. You go out there and you execute. We had our looks. We didn't score on them, but I'm pretty confident that our team's capable of scoring."

Connor speaks following Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final


The Oilers opening the middle frame on the PP as well after Verhaeghe high-sticked Evan Bouchard with nine seconds left in the first, but again the visitors couldn't convert with the man advantage, and worse yet the Panthers pounced to make it 2-0 right after the penalty expired.

Sam Bennett won a race with Cody Ceci to a puck behind the Edmonton net and whacked a backhand pass to Evan Rodrigues in the slot for a shot that beat Stuart Skinner high over the glove. It was the fourth goal of the post-season for Rodrigues.

Just past the midway point of the period, the Oilers appeared to have possibly scored their first goal of the night when Connor Brown jammed a seemingly loose puck underneath Bobrovsky after an initial chance by Mattias Janmark. The official waved off the goal immediately, though, deeming that Brown pushed the goaltender's pad to dislodge the puck.

Bobrovsky's brilliance continued throughout the period as the Oilers were outshooting the Panthers 26-12 through 40 minutes – including 15-4 in high-danger scoring chances per Natural Stat Trick – but the home team maintained their 2-0 advantage.

"Bob was absolutely massive for them and a big reason why they were able to win," said his counterpart Skinner, who turned aside 15 of 17 shots on a quiet night between the Oilers pipes.

Stuart speaks following Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final


The Oilers continued to generate chances early in the third, with Hyman, Draisaitl and McDavid connecting on a tic-tac-toe passing play, but the captain was denied by Bobrovsky on his attempt.

Corey Perry was called for interference with 13:13 remaining in regulation, but once again the Oilers PK unit came through for their 30th consecutive successful kill.

Edmonton had the Draisaitl-McDavid-Hyman trio together for the entirety of the final frame, but the star forwards who have combined for 29 goals so far in the playoffs were held off the board by Bobrovsky and the Panthers defence.

Skinner was pulled in favour of an extra attacker with 2:15 on the clock, and the Oilers used their timeout with 1:21 remaining to get their top six-man crew rested up for the final push.

They weren't able to generate any significant scoring chances, though, and Eetu Luostarinen made it 3-0 into the empty net with just 4.4 seconds remaining, prompting a barrage of plastic victory rats to hit the ice at Amerant Bank Arena.

Kris speaks after Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday

Edmonton will look to bring a 1-1 series split back home with Game 2 on Monday.

Head Coach Kris Knoblauch said the team plans to hone in on what allowed Bobrovsky and the Panthers defence to be successful on Saturday, while also ideally getting a bounce or two.

"There's definitely things that we can target," the bench boss said. "Every goalie has strengths and weaknesses. Every system that you play against has strengths and weaknesses. So there are things that as coaches we can address. And there's also just the element of luck."