Stanley Cup Final: McDavid, Skinner help Oilers crush Panthers 8-1 in Game 4

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Stanley Cup Final: McDavid, Skinner help Oilers crush Panthers 8-1 in Game 4

The Edmonton Oilers will face the Florida Panthers in Game 5 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final on Tuesday in Sunrise Fla. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI.

The Edmonton Oilers will face the Florida Panthers in Game 5 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final on Tuesday in Sunrise Fla. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI. | License Photo

June 15 (UPI) — Desperate Edmonton Oilers attackers constantly produced traffic, confusing Florida Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky while firing shots from all angles during an 8-1 thrashing Saturday in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The victory staved off elimination for the Oilers, who trail 3-1 in the best-of-seven-game series.

“Obviously, we did our job on the offensive side today,” Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, who totaled two assists, said on the ABC broadcast from Edmonton, Alberta.

“It’s one win for us, so we gotta keep getting better and continue to put it together.”

Connor McDavid totaled one goal and three assists to fuel the win. He set an NHL record in the process, passing Wayne Gretzky‘s 1987-88 mark (31) for the most assists (32) in a single postseason.

Fellow forward Dylan Holloway registered two goals and an assist for the Oilers. Goalie Stuart Skinner logged 32 saves on the home ice of Rogers Place.

Game 5 will be Tuesday at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Fla. The Oilers are attempting to become just the second team in NHL history — following the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs — to win the Stanley Cup after facing a 3-0 series deficit.

“We are just looking to climb back into this,” Draisaitl said.

The Oilers outshot the Panthers 27-18 through the first two periods of Game 4. They scored six times through their first 33:03 of ice time. Mattias Janmark, Adam Henrique, Ryan McLeod, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Darnell Nurse joined Holloway and McDavid in the scoring column.

Nurse was called for tripping just 2 minutes into the game, giving the Panthers a one-man advantage. But it was the Oilers who found the net first, with Janmark beating Sergei Bobrovsky for a shorthanded score.

Forward Connor Brown carried the puck along the right side, smacking a pass to himself off the boards before crossing into Panthers territory at the start of that sequence.

He carried the puck to the right post, before sliding a pass back through crease, finding Janmark. The Oilers forward finished the play with a backhanded shot past Bobrovsky.

Janmark helped double the lead less than 5 minutes later. He sparked that score by skating up the left flank. He then spun around a defender before sending a pass toward the near post. Henrique threw his stick blade in front of the puck, deflecting it in past Bobrovsky.

The Panthers used a deflection to cut into the deficit less than 4 minutes later. Oilers and Panthers players first fought for the puck deep in Edmonton territory at the start of that play.

Defenseman Gustav Forsling eventually took possession and fired a shot from near the blue line. Forward Vladimir Tarasenko drifted in front of the goal and knocked the puck down, bouncing it off the ice, between Skinner’s glove and left leg pad and into the net.

But the Oilers answered back very quickly, scoring about 3 minutes later.

Draisaitl received the puck along the left boards during that play. He then sent a pass between two defenders, finding Holloway on his right. Holloway slid between the circles and toyed with the puck on his blade, getting Bobrovsky off balance before finding the net with a backhander with 5:12 remaining in the period.

The Oilers carried their 3-1 lead into second period. They then piled on en route to their blowout victory.

McDavid lit the lamp 73 seconds into the bridge frame with his first Stanley Cup goal. Defenseman Evan Bouchard first gained possession in Oilers territory. He then fired a pass up the ice, finding forward Zach Hyman on the left side.

Hyman turned and send a short pass to McDavid, who flew in above the circles before ripping a snap shot past Bobrovsky on his stick side.

Nurse scored the Oilers’ fifth goal less than 5 minutes later. McDavid and Hyman assisted that score, which led to a Bobrovsky benching.

Nugent-Hopkins netted a sixth Oilers goal off a power play with 6:57 remaining in the period. The Oilers carried their 6-1 advantage into the final frame.

McDavid and Corey Perry assisted a second Holloway goal 14:11 into the third period. Holloway and Warren Foegele fed McLeod for the final goal of the night 2:30 later.

Bobrovsky totaled 11 saves. Backup goalie Anthony Stolarz made 16 saves for the Panthers.

The Panthers will host the Oilers in Game 5 at 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday. Game 6, if necessary, will be Friday in Edmonton.

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