EDMONTON, AB – On the verge of a historic comeback, the Edmonton Oilers couldn't pull it off to avoid leaving themselves on the brink of elimination in the Stanley Cup Final.

The Oilers had their third-period revival fall short on Thursday night in a 4-3 defeat to the Panthers in Game 3 at Rogers Place, scoring through Philip Broberg and Ryan McLeod to make it a one-goal contest after Florida netted three goals in 6:19 of the middle frame, but the Blue & Orange were unable to find that extra goal to prevent themselves from falling behind 3-0 in the series.

"We definitely cut it close," Stuart Skinner said. "We battled to the end, and that's the kind of team we've had for the whole season and this is just another game where we proved that."

"I think that we can be an amazing team, and I know that we can find a way to beat these guys."

Warren Foegele beat Panthers' netminder Sergei Bobrovsky on a breakaway early in the second period to make it 1-1 after Sam Reinhart opened the scoring with 1:02 left in the opening frame.

However, the Russian netminder came up clutch numerous times over the full 60 minutes, making 32 saves to backstop his side to their sixth straight victory in the playoffs – including three straight in the Stanley Cup Final where Bobrovsky has stopped 82 of the 86 shots he's faced against Edmonton for a .958 save percentage.

Stuart Skinner made 19 saves on 23 shots in the defeat, while Connor McDavid recorded two assists.

The Oilers will fight to stay alive on Saturday night and stave off elimination in Game 3 against the Panthers back at Rogers Place.

The Oilers comeback effort falls short in a 4-3 loss in Game 3


After seeing their impressive streak of 38 straight penalty kills come to an end earlier in the week during the late stages of Game 2, the Oilers were charged with killing off the first penalty of Game 3 after Ryan Nugent-Hopkins took out Sam Bennett at the blueline to prevent an odd-man rush for the Panthers going the other way.

Despite being shorthanded, the Oilers produced two great chances through Connor Brown – once on a partial breakaway for the speedy winger that was stopped by the blocker of Bobrovsky before McDavid created another in-close chance for Brown seconds after that was sent wide after he threw the puck out in front after picking it up along the wall.

Edmonton's power play has been a different story in this series, having failed to produce a goal on their last nine tries coming into Thursday night after coming up empty on infractions handed down to Sasha Barkov and Brandon Montour in the opening period before finishing the evening 0-for-3 with the man advantage.

The Oilers were still searching for that important power-play goal that could open the floodgates for their top players, who've yet to fully make their mark on this series offensively through the first seven periods of the Stanley Cup Final after going 0-for-2 on the power play in the first period of Game 3.

Florida would find a way to break the deadlock before the intermission, turning a coughed-up puck from Bouchard inside Edmonton's blueline into a rush up ice for captain Aleksander Barkov, who gave it to the incoming Gustav Forsling to find the stick of Sam Reinhart with a smart pass for the deflected go-ahead goal with 1:02 left in the period.

"I thought we had lots of looks," McDavid said. "I thought the game was right there, and we just made a couple of mistakes and they found a way."

Paige & Cam analyze Thursday's 4-3 loss to the Panthers


For how excellent the first 10 minutes of the second period were for the Oilers, all that forward progress fizzled out for them over a 6:19 stretch of the frame's final half where the Panthers took over.

"It took away the momentum," Head Coach Kris Knoblauch said. "If you think about the second period and how well we started, we had a couple breakaways, some really good slot chances, and then, we don't score on those. And I like where we were going after Foegele scored that huge goal. I really liked our team, the execution, the energy, and like I said, we had some really good chances to go ahead."

Warren Foegele punctuated a terrific start to the period by lurking near the Panthers' bench and finding wide-open space through the neutral zone to accept a pass from Adam Henrique and head in on a breakaway that he finished off under the glove of Bobrovsky to make it 1-1 only 1:49 into the frame.

Watch the recap of Thursday's Game 3 between the Oilers & Panthers

Edmonton and Florida were deadlocked as we passed the midway mark of the period before the Panthers took full command of the contest, beginning when Stuart Skinner made an error tracking the puck behind his net before Eetu Luostarinen pushed it in front for Vladimir Tarasenko to beat the retreating Skinner and make it 2-1 at 10:48 of the period.

"I tried to play the puck. I don't know if it bounced over me or not. I'm not too sure exactly what happened," Skinner said. "They got the puck, passed it out front and I tried to get that one as well and tried to make the save, but all those three things did not work."

Darnell Nurse wasn't able to clear the puck from the net-front area before the Panthers picked apart the Oilers for their third goal, with Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Bennett working a quick exchange to open up the space in front for Bennett to fire the 3-1 goal over Skinner's right shoulder.

Just 1:34 later, the Panthers produced a fast breakout that led to an odd-man rush and a lane for their captain in Barkov to beat Skinner to his blocker for the 4-1 lead, capping off a 6:19 stretch for Florida that turned Game 3 on its head with three goals in the second period.

"After they got that second one, they just kind of got on a roll," Skinner added. "We let them take that momentum and skate with it. They got two more quick ones where it was kind of just silly mistakes that didn't need to happen."

Connor talks after the team's Game 3 loss to the Panthers


The push ultimately arrived from the Oilers, but it was too little, too late after they came up one goal short of completing the heroic comeback.

Edmonton found a response six minutes into the final period to give themselves and the fans inside Rogers Place a second wind off a lucky bounce for Philip Broberg that found its way into the Panthers' net for his second career playoff goal – with both coming as part of this playoff run.

Broberg received an open chance in the right circle that came from a pass delivered onto his tape by Connor McDavid rounding the Florida net. After the Swede released his shot that looked to be going wide, the puck hit the upper body of defenceman Niko Mikkola parked beside the crease and found its way behind Bobrovsky to make it 4-2 with just under 14 minutes left.

As time dwindled closer to the final five minutes of regulation, the Oilers continued to pour it on and got to within one of the Panthers off a quick wrist shot from Brett Kulak from the top of the zone that Ryan McLeod deflected down and past Bobrovsky for his second of the playoffs at a critical moment.

McLeod's marker made it 4-3 with 5:17 to play, but the damage was done in the middle frame.

The Oilers pulled their goalie for the extra attacker after getting an offensive-zone draw with just over a minute left in regulation, but the Panthers – who are resilient from top to bottom – got a massive left-pad save from Bobrovsky on McLeod inside the blue paint before their collective defensive effort led to them killing off much of the remaining time in the corner to secure the Game 3 victory in the face of Edmonton's third-period pressure.

The Oilers will face elimination from the Stanley Cup Final in Game 4 at Rogers Place on Saturday, trailing 3-0 in the series.

Kris addresses the media after Game 3 against the Panthers


Coach Knoblauch on what needs to be said to the group heading into a do-or-die Game 4 on Saturday:

"I don't think there's much to be said. I think there's a lot of belief. You look at our season this year, and we've had two eight-game winning streaks. We've had a 16-game winning streak. When things go well, we can really turn it up and I think we've shown that we can beat this team. I think there's a lot of belief in that. It's not like we're getting outplayed and we're just saying 'That team's better than us.' I don't think there's anything that I need to say to the team to convince them otherwise. I think everyone in that dressing room feels the same way I do. We can string together a lot of wins. We've shown it. Obviously, the stakes are a little bit higher."

Skinner on the Oilers capitalizing on Florida's mistakes and the play of Bobrovsky:

"Absolutely. They have made some crucial mistakes, and Bobrovsky has been absolutely fantastic. So that's a huge credit to that guy. He's been absolutely phenomenal – really good reads and big saves at the right time. We definitely had our chances tonight. I think if we just keep pushing, keep grinding, it's going to go our way at some point here, but you're absolutely right. If you take any sort of time off in this league – especially the Final – teams are going to make you pay, so it's our job to dial in the details and simplify our game."