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Florida Panthers defeat Edmonton Oilers in Game 1 of NHL Stanley Cup Final

By Jacob Lev, CNN

(CNN) — The Florida Panthers defeated the Edmonton Oilers 3-0 in Game 1 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final on Saturday at the Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Florida.

Panthers forward Carter Verhaeghe opened the scoring just under four minutes into the game after snagging a backhand feed from captain Aleksander Barkov. It was Verhaeghe’s team-leading 10th goal of the playoffs.

Although Connor McDavid and the Oilers threatened to score, Florida goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and the defense helped keep them scoreless to end the first period.

The Panthers extended the lead on an Evan Rodrigues goal to make it 2-0 in the second period. Despite the Oilers outshooting the Panthers 32-18, Florida added to the lead with just four seconds left in the game on an empty net goal by Eetu Luostarinen.

Bobrovsky’s 32 saves helped lead the Panthers to the first Stanley Cup shutout victory in team history. The 35-year-old Russian gave props to the “elite” Oilers after the game.

“They obviously have an elite offense,” Bobrovsky told reporters after the game. “It was a really hard game. So, they’re really smart players and it was a fun challenge.”

Game 1 kicked off the second consecutive Cup Final for the Panthers. This is the team’s third ever appearance in the Stanley Cup. The Oilers advanced to the Cup for the eighth time in franchise history and first since 2006.

“There’s been lots of growing pains, for sure, lots of lessons along the way,” McDavid told reporters after the team advanced to the Cup. “Obviously, it feels good, it feels great to be in this position. This was always part of the plan and it feels good to be here today.”

The Oilers have won five Cups in their franchise history. The Florida Panthers lost to the Vegas Golden Knights in last year’s Stanley Cup – their first final in 27 years.

Game 2 is scheduled for Monday at 8 p.m. ET.

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