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Bobrovsky, missed chances biggest factors in Oilers' Game 3 loss to Panthers

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You could say the Edmonton Oilers' Game 3 loss to the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup Final came from multiple cuts.

Mistakes, close checking by the opposition, failing to capitalize on chances all played their part in Thursday night's 4-3 final score.

The deepest cut of all, though, came from goaltending, specifically the play of Sergei Bobrovsky.

Much like we saw in the opening game of the championship series, a 3-0 Panthers win in Sunrise, Fla., Bobrovsky stopped everything in the first two periods (except, of course, Warren Foegele's second-period breakaway goal).

And while the Oilers made a game of it in the third period with goals from Philip Broberg and Ryan McLeod, the 35-year-old netminder certainly stopped everything thrown his way by the Oilers' top-liners.

Connor McDavid? Denied on a golden power-play chance halfway through the first period and again the next frame on a rebound; stopped on all five of his shots..

Leon Draisaitl? Bobrovsky knows exactly when to be in position to stop No. 29's patented bad-angle one-timer from along the goal line.

Evan Bouchard? Goalie Bob got a pad on one 'Bouch Bomb' that had 'goal' written on it and nullified the rest of the busiest Game 3 Oilers shooter's chances (Bouchard had six).

Zach Hyman? Wrapped up seemingly on each of the winger's attempts to drive to the net.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? Well, you get the idea.

The Panthers were playing the big guns close and making them earn their shots the hard way, ultimately succeeding in keeping McDavid and co. from scoring.

Florida Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky stops Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid during Game 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final on June 13, 2024, at Edmonton's Rogers Place. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press)"Obviously firing a lot of shots," a dejected-looking and -sounding Draisaitl, who recorded an assist on McLeod's goal, said after the game.

"Can't seem to put them over the line. Not sustaining enough pressure."

McDavid said he felt the Oilers had plenty of shots and drove to the Panthers net throughout the game but simply couldn't convert their chances.

"I thought we had lots of looks," McDavid said.

"It felt like the game was right there. Just a couple of mistakes and they find a way to score."

Those mistakes came in a three-goal Florida second period, with Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner out of position after trying to play the puck behind his net and Panthers forward Vladimir Tarasenko skating in to fire it past him on the second goal.

Darnell Nurse's attempted backhand pass to the boards five minutes later bounced off Panthers winger Matthew Tkachuk to his linemate Sam Bennett, who swatted it past Skinner to put Florida up 3-1.

And Bobrovsky had the Oilers' number at the other end. He finished the game with 32 saves, stopping 91.4 per cent of Edmonton's shots. He has a .954 save percentage through the three Stanley Cup Final wins.

McDavid said he has "a lot of respect" for what Bobrovsky "is doing and how he is playing" but emphasized he and his teammates' chances.

"There are looks there," he said.

"You've got to bear down and put it in the net." 

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