FORT LAUDERDALE – The Florida Panthers are ready to bounce back.

After missing out on their first chance to hoist the Stanley Cup, they’ll dust themselves off and try again when they host the Edmonton Oilers for Game 5 at Amerant Bank Arena on Tuesday.

"Every day in the playoffs, win or lose, we just try to get better,” forward Carter Verhaeghe said following a spirited practice at Baptist Health IcePlex on Monday. “I think that's been our mentality all season. Bouncing back, that's what it is. Win or lose, we play our game."

Racing out to a 3-0 lead in the series, the Panthers, who hadn’t suffered a loss since Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final, endured an 8-1 loss at Edmonton in Game 4 on Saturday.

That being said, a loss in a loss regardless of the score.

When they meet in Game 5, the score will once again be 0-0 when the puck drops.

“Nothing changes,” defenseman Dmitry Kulikov said. “We just approach this game as any other with confidence and belief. We’ve just got to skate with them and play good defense.”

During their run to the Stanley Cup Final, the Panthers have excelled at turning the page.

In Round 1, they followed a 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 with a series-clinching 6-1 win in Game 5. In Round 2, they rebounded from a 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 1 with a simply dominant performance in a 6-1 win in Game 2.

In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final, they shook off a second straight overtime loss to the New York Rangers and bounced back with a 3-2 overtime win in Game 4. After that, they went on to also pick up wins in Games 5 and 6 to close out the series and punch their ticket to the Final.

Overall, they've gone 4-1 following losses this postseason.

Looking back at those wins, the Panthers are confident they can do the same in Game 5.

“I feel like we’ve done it the whole season pretty much,” defenseman Gustav Forsling said. “We always like to come back and improve what we can do better. I feel like we didn’t love our game last game, for sure. I feel like we got a learn to learn from that game.”

In terms of where they can improve, it starts with slowing down Edmonton’s rush attack.

Prior to Game 4, the Panthers had surrendered just four goals in the series.

“We just kind of want to build off the first three games,” Forsling said. “I feel like we played with a tighter gap and let them a little off the hook in the fourth game. We didn’t play as tight as we wanted as a team. It starts with me and all the defensemen with having a tight gap.”

As it was last game, the Stanley Cup will also be in the building on Tuesday.

After playing under the shadow of that looming tower of silver for the first time in franchise history last game, the Panthers should also be better equipped for the moment in Game 5.

They know what to do.

“It is different,” Maurice said of trying to close out the Stanley Cup Final. “There’s the feeling of the goal sits in front of the game that’s played. In Game 3, the goal is behind the game. You can’t win it tonight. The game becomes priority. When you can, it sits in front of the game and you have to break through it or figure out a way to get it behind the game again.”


For the most part, the Panthers have been pretty predictable when it comes to their lineup throughout their entire postseason run to the Stanley Cup Final over the past two months.

If they win, things usually stay the same.

If they lose, there’s a window to switch things up.

Having not lost a game since May 26 prior to Saturday’s defeat in Edmonton, this is the first time in a long time that the Panthers have really even had an opening to ponder such a change.

Will they? Well, that remains to be seen.

During this morning’s line rushes, Ryan Lomberg, who’s appeared in five games these playoffs, was on the left side of the fourth line with Kyle Okposo and Kevin Stenlund.

Over the past six games, that spot has been occupied by Steven Lorentz, who was centering the second line during rushes because Sam Bennett didn’t skate.

When asked about any possible changes, Maurice said things are still up in the air.

“I’m certainly considering it,” he said.

More should be known following Tuesday's morning skate.


In addition to Bennett, Matthew Tkachuk and Aaron Ekblad did not skate this morning.

When asked about their collective absence, Maurice told reporters not to worry.

“All good,” he said.




Evan Rodrigues – Aleksander Barkov – Sam Reinhart

Carter Verhaeghe – Steven Lorentz – Nick Cousins

Eetu Luostarinen – Anton Lundell – Vladimir Tarasenko

Ryan Lomberg – Kevin Stenlund – Kyle Okposo

Extra: Jonah Gadjovich


Gustav Forsling – Josh Mahura

Niko Mikkola – Brandon Montour

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Dmitry Kulikov

Extras: Uvis Balinskis, Tobias Bjornfot


Sergei Bobrovsky

Anthony Stolarz

Spencer Knight

Didn’t skate: Aaron Ekblad, Sam Bennett, Matthew Tkachuk