The Florida Panthers got Vezina Trophy-caliber goaltending from Sergei Bobrovsky in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers outshot the Panthers 32-18, but Bobrovsky stopped them all with several show-stopping saves in the first period as the Oilers jumped out to a 13-4 shot advantage.

Despite that, Carter Verhaeghe opened the scoring with his 10th of the postseason (and 17th in his last 39 playoff games) when he took a deft backhand pass from captain Aleksander Barkov and buried it past Stuart Skinner. The Panthers took a 1-0 lead into the second period, and again, outshot 13-8 in the middle frame, doubled their lead after a great forecheck by Sam Bennett set up Evan Rodrigues for his fourth of the playoffs.

The Panthers protected that 2-0 lead in the third period and grabbed an empty netter in the final seconds to win Game 1 by a 3-0 score. Bobrovsky got his second shutout of the 2024 Playoffs, finishing with 32 saves. Skinner countered with 18 but was simply outplayed by the two-time Vezina Trophy winner and finalist this year. The Panthers’ penalty kill was notable too, as they killed all three opportunities to keep the Oilers’ vaunted power play off the board.

News & Notes

Bobrovsky became the oldest goaltender ever to open the Stanley Cup Final with a shutout. It marked the first time the Panthers recorded a shutout in the Final, and Bobrovsky’s franchise record-setting 13th victory this postseason.

Bobrovsky’s shutout was the 16th ever in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final and seventh in the past 76 years. The overall total includes two shutouts in the same contest, by Hal Winkler and Alec Connell in a 0-0 tie to open the 1927 Final.

Bobrovsky made 13 saves in the first period, the most by a goaltender in the opening period of the Stanley Cup Final since 2016 when Sharks goaltender Martin Jones stopped 13 of 15 shots he faced in the opening frame of Game 1 at Pittsburgh. Bobrovsky was the first to make 13-plus saves in the first period of Game 1 in the Final while allowing zero goals against since Roberto Luongo in 2011 (17 saves in P1 of eventual 1-0 victory).

Related: 2024 Stanley Cup Final Hub

Verhaeghe scored his 25th career playoff goal to make it 1-0. It was the 13th time he has scored a go-ahead goal in the postseason, tops among all players since 2021 (when he joined the Panthers and when he scored his first career playoff goal).

Brandon Montour collected an assist on Florida’s second goal to boost his totals in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs to three goals and 10 points. After posting eight goals and 13 points in 2023, he became the first defenseman in franchise history with a double-digit point total in multiple postseasons.

The Oilers and Panthers will meet up again for Game 2 on Monday, June 10.

**News and notes courtesy of the NHL Media Site


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