SUNRISE, Fla. – The Stanley Cup Final is heading back to Canada.

Despite a strong showing at 5-on-5, the Florida Panthers came up short in a 5-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers in Game 5 of the best-of-seven series at Amerant Bank Arena on Tuesday.

“Absolutely nothing has changed for our situation in the last two games except we learned some things,” Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said.  “Some lessons we don’t need to learn. We’ve learned them enough, but we keep getting taught those lessons.”

Still leading 3-2 in the series, the Panthers will visit Edmonton for Game 6 on Friday.

“Another crack at it on Friday,” Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk said. “We did a really good job at the beginning of the series building that [3-0] lead. Really nothing changes from tonight’s mindset. We’re up 3-2 going back to Edmonton. A couple days to get ready to go for that. Get back healthy, rested and ready to go.”

Just as it was in Game 4, the Oilers got the scoring started shorthanded.

After breaking up a pass at the point, Connor Brown flew down the ice and beat Sergei Bobrovsky with a backhand shot on a breakaway to make it 1-0 at 5:30 of the first period.

Prior to that goal giving Edmonton a spark, Florida had led 5-3 in shots on goal.

“We’ve got to be a little sharper to start,” Panthers forward Sam Bennett said.

Starting the second period on the power play after an interference penalty at the end of the first, the Oilers doubled their lead when Zach Hyman tipped a blast from Evan Bouchard into the twine with just two seconds left on the man advantage to make it 2-0 at 1:58.

Staying hot after his four-point performance in Game 4, Connor McDavid, who had another four points in Game 5, extended Edmonton’s lead to 3-0 when he went five-hole from bottom of the left circle at 5:00.

Getting the Panthers on the board, Tkachuk got behind the defense, took a pass from Evan Rodrigues, who did a great job keeping the puck in the zone, and roofed a shot past the glove of Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner and into the cage to make it 3-1 at 6:53.

Tkachuk cuts into the deficit in the second period.

“He was unbelievable tonight,” Panthers forward Sam Bennett said of Tkachuk, who finished the game with a goal and an assist. “He elevated his game and the boys followed. We need that from him, for sure.”

Briefly regaining their three-goal cushion, the Oilers cashed in again on the power play when Corey Perry crashed the net and deposited a dish from McDavid to make it 4-1 at 11:54. Doing most of the work, McDavid sliced through several defenders before setting up the goal.

Responding in the blink of an eye for the Panthers, Rodrigues fought for some space right outside the blue paint and potted a rebound just 14 seconds later to make it 4-2 at 12:08.

Rodrigues brings Florida closer in the second.

Making it a one-goal game and setting off an explosion of cheers in the building early in the third period, Oliver Ekman-Larsson cut the deficit to 4-3 when he teed up a pass from Tkachuk and snapped a one-timer past Skinner from just inside the left circle at 4:04.

Ekman-Larsson brings Florida within one in the third.

Continuing to push for the game-tying goal, the Panthers were denied two trips to the power play in the third period. The first came when Tkachuk was called for an embellishment after being tripped, and the second came on a clear missed too-many-men penalty on Edmonton.

Coming oh-so-close to scoring on more than one occasion, the Panthers led 11-4 in shots on goal and 10-5 in scoring chances over the final 20 minutes, but just couldn’t get a bounce.

With Florida's net empty late in regulation, Tkachuk made a stellar play to keep the puck from crossing the goal line before McDavid eventually made it 5-3 at 19:41.

Overall, the Panthers led 2.73-0.76 in expected goals at 5-on-5, per

With another chance to close things out coming up, the Panthers now hope to bring their strong finish in Game 5 right into the start of Game 6 at Rogers Place on Friday.

“We had a good push,” Tkachuk said. “I thought at 5-on-5 we played really well. That’s something to build off next game. We want to keep it 5-on-5. We want to stay out of the box. If we do get a power play, capitalize on it.”


“It’s a similar story to Game 4 with giving up a shorty there, which is just unacceptable. We’ve got to start better. I thought our start was good. We just gave one up and then we were trailing it. They played well. They put the puck in their net when they had their chances.” – Matthew Tkachuk

“We’ve just got to win one game. It’s as simple as that.” – Sam Bennett

“We’ve got to find a way to stay out of the penalty box. That’ll be part of it. That’s about it.” Paul Maurice


- The Panthers won 59.7% of their faceoffs.

- The Panthers led 38-16 in hits.

- The Panthers had 24 of their shots blocked.

- The Panthers have lost back-to-back games for just the second time this postseason.

- Evan Rodrigues leads Florida in goals (4) and points (6) in the Stanley Cup Final.

- Matthew Tkachuk recorded his eighth multi-point game of this postseason.


With two chances to still close out the Oilers, the Panthers will try to claim the Stanley Cup once again when they head to Rogers Place for Game 6 on Friday at 8 p.m. ET.

For watch party information, stay tuned to