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GAME STORY: Panthers 6, Oilers 2

The Florida Panthers pounce with three goals in 2:05 of the second period in a 6-2 win over the Oilers in Sunday's matinee matchup

by Jamie Umbach /

EDMONTON, AB - The cats had claws.

The Oilers couldn't scrape their way back from a three-goal second period by the Florida Panthers, dropping a 6-2 result in a matinee matchup at Rogers Place on Sunday afternoon.

Video: OILERS TODAY | Post-Game vs FLA 10.27.19





The Oilers begin a three-game road trip in Detroit on Tuesday. The game can be seen on Sportsnet 360 & One and heard on the Oilers Radio Network, including 630 CHED. Puck drop is 5:37 p.m. MT.


"It's a big hole to climb out of," Connor McDavid, who had an assist, said post-game. "We just weren't good enough all over all night."

A predator only needs a moment to strike, and the Panthers pounced thrice in quick succession in the opening three minutes of the second period.

Aaron Ekblad converted Alexander Barkov's drop pass 31 seconds into the middle frame before Brian Boyle tacked on his first as a Panther by outwaiting a sprawled out Mike Smith 1:27 later.

"It's a lot easier when you get the first goal," defenceman Oscar Klefbom said. "We didn't give ourselves the chance today. They were better and play the right way; the way we wanted to play this game."

Noel Acciari then added an unassisted marker that spelt the end of the afternoon for Smith, who made three saves on 13 shots before Mikko Koskinen allowed two goals on 15 shots in relief.

Forward Leon Draisaitl tallied a goal and assist on his 24th birthday, but the trio of goals in the middle frame from the Panthers on a rare off-night for the Oilers goaltending this season ended Edmonton's unbeaten home win streak at five games.

"Today the start wasn't good," Draisaitl said. "The first seven minutes of the first period we got our legs under us, and then the start of the second wasn't good enough. We have to fix it."

After being outshot 7-0 by the Panthers in the opening 10 minutes, the Oilers clawed their way into the game with a couple of close encounters in front of goal for Jujhar Khaira for a third line hungry for their taste of offence this campaign.

The unit played another pivotal role in keeping the first period scoreless during a lengthy minute-and-a-half spell in their own zone, stopping the threat in Florida's first opportunity with the man advantage.

Video: POST-GAME RAW | Draisaitl 10.27.19

After falling behind 4-0 in the opening minute of the third period to an Evgenii Dadonov wrap-around, James Neal struck double-digits for goals on the power play with his 10th of the campaign to give the Oilers an avenue for a comeback.

Draisaitl buried Ethan Bear's rebound off the end boards and his ninth of the season to reduce the deficit to two with 6:42 on the clock, but Frank Vatrano's ensuing empty-net tally and Jayce Hawryluk's wired wrist shot with 20 seconds left in the game put a stamp on the contest.

In this afternoon's early puck drop, it was the Panthers who were first to swipe early momentum by winning early battles and outworking their Oilers opponent.

"They played the way we would've liked to play this game," Klefbom said. "They were stronger, they won more pucks, and they got pucks to the net and outbattled us. We have to learn from this and just focus on the next game here because we're still off to a good start and want to have that positive energy going in the group." 

The Oilers hit the road for a three-game road trip that begins against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday in the Motor City.

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