Florida Panthers vs. Edmonton Oilers Game 2 Recap | 06/11/2024

Rodrigues and Kulikov celebrate the Game 2 win. Lauren Sopourn

Chaotic and vicious are the only ways to describe what happened during Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. It was a game that left a bad taste in both fan bases’ mouths but for very different reasons. Edmonton fans were upset over the lack of the Oilers’ scoring and missed calls, while Florida fans were pissed off about dirty hits that were injuring players and what will likely be a lack of disciplinary action against Leon Draisaitl. As of the afternoon of June 11th, there has been no update on any potential hearing or action by the NHL Player Safety for Draisaitl’s hit on Barkov. This match was reminiscent of Game 2 of the Florida/Boston series, where things got completely out of hand, and more fighting than hockey was happening on the ice. The Panthers’ depth scoring once again showed up big for this game, and special teams saw a lot of ice time. It was an ugly game from start to finish which made it tough for Florida fans to enjoy how well the Cats played for the full 60 minutes and walked away with the win for a 2-0 series lead.

Parade of Penalties and Injuries:

The injuries started in the first period. For Edmonton Nurse took a hit that had him going to the locker room, while he did try to come back and play, ultimately he didn’t finish the game. A nasty knee-on-knee hit from Foegele sent Luostarinen down to the ice. After a discussion among the officials, they assessed a five-minute major penalty for kneeing and a game misconduct, tossing him from the game not even ten minutes into the opening period. Luostarinen did skate off under his own power but he was barely putting any weight on his leg and was helped down the tunnel to the locker room. Thankfully, it seemed to be not quite as serious as was feared, and he returned to the game and finished playing. Ekblad ended up on the bad end of a collision with McDavid that saw McDavid falling directly onto his ankle causing him to limp off the ice and down the tunnel to get looked at. Ekblad was also alright after getting looked at and returned to the game to finish it. The big one that’s got Florida fans really heated happened in the third period with 9:28 left to play. Barkov had the puck along the boards, and Draisaitl came at him with a hit that landed directly on Barkov’s jaw, with Draisaitl’s elbow making significant contact. Draisaitl also looks like he jumped into the hit as well with his skates leaving the ice and contact having an upward trajectory. The officials only assessed a two-minute minor for roughing, but Barkov left the ice and did not return to the game. The Panthers’ players made no comment on the incident following the conclusion of the game, and the only update came from Paul Maurice during media availability on Tuesday, “He wasn’t worse, so that’s a really good thing. The real assessment will be tomorrow. We had some things that needed to be looked at today that got looked at. There’s nothing sinister there. He kind of passed that. He felt better today. Feels good. But you’ve got to give it another 24 hours to make sure that he feels strong.” In addition to all the injuries, it was a revolving door to the penalty box. Bennett and OEL got called for tripping in the first period, Foegele, as mentioned, got called for kneeing and a game misconduct, Bouchard got called for roughing and slashing, Tkachuk had a hooking penalty, Verhaeghe got the Panthers’ third tripping penalty, Draisaitl got the aforementioned roughing penalty, Montour got called for roughing, Kane got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, OEL got called for delay of game in the third period, Carrick got a slashing and game misconduct, and Desharnais got a game misconduct. All that resulted in six power plays for the Panthers and four for the Oilers. The Panthers finally snapped the Oilers’ penalty kill streak in the third period off a power play goal from Evan Rodrigues. Edmonton didn’t capitalize on any of their man advantages.

Full Team Offense:

Once again, Florida’s offensive depth shown brightly. The team got goals from Mikkola, two from Rodrigues, and an empty netter from Ekblad, showing once again that the team doesn’t live or die by only their big stars showing up and producing. A wild fifteen-second sequence saw Mikkola nearly go from public enemy number one to the hero who tied the game. Edmonton had gotten their first goal of the series during a 4v4 in the first period and had the 0-1 lead going into the second period. Mikkola nearly scored an own goal before fixing the mistake and jumping up in the offensive play with Lundell, who left a perfectly placed puck, for him to shoot to score on the glove side of Skinner. It was a tie game coming out of the second period, and Florida is notoriously good in the third period vs the Oilers, who were at -8 in the third coming into Game 2. Rodrigues wasted no time making that stat -9 as Bouchard fumbled a blocked shot right back to Rodrigues, who buried it into the net on the blocker side for the 2-1 lead just over three minutes into the period. Rodrigues struck again on the power play from the Draisaitl penalty, tipping in a shot from Lundell with OEL on the secondary assist. With that goal, Rodrigues wrote himself into the Panther history books as the first Panther in franchise history to have a multi-goal game in the Stanley Cup Finals as well as snapping the penalty kill streak of the Oilers. The 3-1 score was a solid lead to have with just under eight minutes left but Ekblad would make it 4-1 when he scored an empty netter with 2:28 left to play. So far, it’s been a quiet series for Tkachuk and Reinhart, but there are plenty of other players who have stepped up to make plays so that all the pressure isn’t on them.

Special Teams Favor Florida:

In a battle of the special teams the scale tips in the Panthers’ favor. Finally, breaking down the Oilers’ penalty kill while theirs has stood strong gives Florida the only power-play goal so far this series. Florida’s only allowed two power-play goals since the Boston series, one in the Boston series and one in the Rangers series. The Panthers aren’t intimidated by the Edmonton power play, they’ve already faced the best regular season power play in Tampa and a high-scoring power play in the Rangers and come out on the winning end of both. To go toe to toe with the Cats, the opponent has to be good five-on-five, the power play merchants simply haven’t had success. The aggressiveness on the penalty kill, coupled with bringing in some new faces to play on the PK Units, have proved to be successful as the Florida PK is up to 89.7%, trailing only the Oilers, who sit at 93%. The Panthers now lead in playoff goals against as well at a 2.11 with Edmonton at 2.70. Not allowing Edmonton to convert on the power play has also dropped the Oilers down a 3.20 goals expected, while Florida sits at a 3.26. Edmonton’s power play was sitting at 37.3% coming into the series, and after two games, it’s already down to 32.8%. The Panthers wrangled the Rangers’ power play all the way down to a 24% at the end of six games, we’ll have to wait and see if they can continue to frustrate the Oilers’ power play. It was a highly eventful Game 2 with plenty of highs, lows, and controversy. Game 3 is set for Thursday, June 13th, in Edmonton at 8 pm EST/7 pm CT.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

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