SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers captured their first Stanley Cup in franchise history with a 2-1 Game 7 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night in a thrilling conclusion to a classic playoff series.

Winger Sam Reinhart's second-period goal proved to be the winner, as goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves to close out the series -- and help his team avoid postseason infamy.

The Panthers' win averted one of the most epic collapses in sports history. Florida had built a 3-0 series lead, but the Oilers roared back with three straight wins, just the third time in NHL history that a team forced a Game 7 after losing the first three games of a Stanley Cup Final.


But the legacy of the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs remains intact; they're still the only team to rally from a 3-0 deficit in the Final to win the Cup, after the Oilers came up short.

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Instead, Florida became just the third team in the past 40 years to win the Stanley Cup after losing in the Final during the previous postseason, as the Panthers fell in five games to the Vegas Golden Knights in 2023.

Florida captain Aleksander Barkov was awarded the Cup by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, and after his skate with it, Barkov handed if off to Bobrovsky.

The Oilers were making their first Stanley Cup Final appearance since 2006.

This was the furthest Edmonton superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl had carried their team in the postseason. Neither player had a point in Game 7, with McDavid going scoreless in the last two games of the series. He finished as the playoffs' leading scorer with 42 points. Despite the loss, McDavid was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the postseason's most valuable player.

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Gallery Credit: Scott Prather

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