EDMONTON – We’re heading back to Sunrise.

Unable to complete a rare sweep in the Stanley Cup Final, the Florida Panthers suffered an uncharacteristic 8-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers in Game 4 at Rogers Place on Saturday.

Still leading 3-1 in the series, the Panthers now look to Game 5 on Tuesday.

“They played really well,” Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov said. “We didn’t play as well as we wanted, so that’s the end result. We lost. We’ve got to figure out now what we can do better and what we did well. That’s not the first time we’ve lost in the playoffs.”

Not the first, but certainly the first in quite some time.

Snapping a six-game winning streak, Florida’s last loss came on May 26 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final.

“We haven’t lost a game in a while until tonight,” Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk said. “At the end of the day, it’s back to the drawing board. If we win, we learn from it and we put it aside. If we lose, we do the same thing. We’re in an unbelievable spot right now [up 3-1]. We came here and after all that craziness got a split. Now we’re going home [to play] in front of our unbelievable fans. They’re so excited to see us and we’re so excited to play in front of them.”

After the Panthers hit posts on back-to-back shots on the power play, the Oilers opened the scoring when Mattias Janmark scored shorthanded to make it 1-0 at 3:11 of the first period.

Crashing the net, Adam Henrique doubled the early lead for Edmonton when he got to the slot and tipped a pass from Janmark past Sergei Bobrovsky to make it 2-0 at 7:48. Getting that goal back, Vladimir Tarasenko buried a nifty tip of his own to cut Florida’s deficit to 2-1 at 11:26.

Tarasenko cuts the lead in half in the first.

Nearly tying the game on a 2-on-1 rush, Carter Verhaeghe had his one-timer from the right circle denied by a spectacular save from Stuart Skinner just after the 8-minute mark of the period. His best game of the series, Skinner went on to finish with 32 saves, including five high-danger stops like that one on Verhaeghe.

Taking advantage of a defensive miscue by the Panthers, the Oilers regained their two-goal lead before the first intermission when Dyan Holloway collected a dish from Leon Draisaitl, skated toward the cage and beat Bobrovsky with a backhand shot to make it 3-1 at 14:48.

In the second period, the Oilers continued to maintain their pressure.

Netting his first goal of the series, Connor McDavid extended Edmonton’s lead to 4-1 when he got in behind the defense and ripped a shot over Bobrovsky’s blocker at 1:13. Less than four minutes later, Darnell Nurse picked a corner from the slot to make it 5-1 at 4:59.

Following that goal, Anthony Stolarz came off the bench and into the game for Bobrovsky.

“We gave up eight goals and zero of them were the goalie’s fault,” Tkachuk said.

After the Oilers got a little too aggressive with their sticks after Stolarz covered a puck, things got physical for the Panthers. On the ensuing scrum, both Tkachuk and Sam Bennett were given roughing penalties, which gave the Oilers a 5-on-3 power play.

On the ensuing power play, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored to make it 6-1 at 13:03.

Keeping the goals flowing for the Oilers in the third period, Holloway finished off a tic-tac-toe sequence with McDavid and fired the puck past Stolarz to make it 7-1 at 14:11. Not too long after that, Ryan McLeod got in on the action and lit the lamp at 16:40 to make it 8-1.

Overall, the Panthers appeared to struggle with Edmonton’s speed and rush game.

“The rush game’s a real dangerous game, especially a stretch-rush game,” Panthers head coach Paul Maurice said. “It’s either really good for you or really bad for you, one of the two. It was really good for them tonight.”

Despite missing out on their first chance to win the franchise’s first-ever Stanley Cup, the Panthers have earned themselves three more chances to try and eliminate the Oilers.

With first the first one out of the way, Maurice expects things to settle down in Game 5.

“It was the first opportunity that we’ve had as a franchise to feel the two days [leading up to the game], the excitement of it, the emotion of it,” Maurice said. “We’ll learn how to channel that. That’s all part of this process.”


“They were flying and making really good plays off the rush. That’s probably the best part of their game all year. A bunch of rush goals tonight. We just didn’t defend well off the rush.” – Matthew Tkachuk

“There’s many things we can do a lot better. We probably got out-worked. They got too many rush chances, I think. We’ve always been good at defending rushes, and I think they got some rush chances we didn’t need to give up.” – Aleksander Barkov


- Anton Lundell went 7-for-10 (70%) in the faceoff circle.

- Three different Panthers recorded at least five hits.

- The Oilers led 16-12 in high-danger shot attempts.

- The Panthers recorded 3.83 expected goals, per

- The Panthers finished under 50% in the faceoff circle for the first time this series.

- The Panthers led 50-33 in hits.

- Edmonton blocked 23 of Florida’s shots.


The Stanley Cup will be in the building once again for Game 5.

With a second opportunity to claim Lord Stanley, the Panthers will look to bounce back from tonight's blowout when they host the Oilers at Amerant Bank Arena on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.

For tickets, click HERE.