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Stanley Cup Final: Oilers force Game 7 after facing 3-0 series deficit vs. Panthers. Is history in their favor?

Stanley Cup Final: Oilers force Game 7 after facing 3-0 series deficit vs. Panthers. Is history in their favor?

The Edmonton Oilers are only the third team in NHL history to force a Game 7 after facing a 3-0 series deficit in the Stanley Cup Final. The other two teams went 1-1 in the final game of the series. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

Are the Edmonton Oilers about to pull off a historic feat Monday in Game 7 (8 p.m. ET; ABC) of the Stanley Cup Final? The Florida Panthers are hoping to finally win the fourth game of the series after failing in their previous three tries, including Friday's 5-1 defeat at Rogers Place.

It remains to be seen if the Oilers can complete the series comeback after being down 3-0, but they've already made history by forcing a Game 7.

Edmonton became the 211th team in NHL history to fall behind 3-0 in a best-of-seven playoff series. By winning Game 6 they became only the 10th team to ever climb all the way back and force a Game 7 — something that hasn't happened in a decade.

But just winning three games in a row to force a do-or-die Game 7 isn't an automatic sign you're going to win the series. Only four of the previous nine series that occurred have resulted in the trailing team coming back to win the all-important fourth game — and it has happened only twice since 1975 and just once in the Stanley Cup Final.

Let's take a look at those other nine series and how the trailing teams ending up faring.

The Sharks dominated the first two games of the series, winning both by a combined score of 13-5. Patrick Marleau's overtime goal in Game 3 gave San Jose a 3-0 series lead. But the Kings fought back with three solid performances and blitzed the Sharks in Game 7 with a 5-1 victory. L.A. would then go on to win the Stanley Cup over the New York Rangers — its second title in three seasons.

Six of the seven games in this series were decided by a single goal and two of the first three games needed overtime, which went the Sharks' way, thanks to Benn Ferriero and Devin Setoguchi. Late goals from Darren Helm and Tomas Holmström in Games 4 and 5 put the Red Wings back in the series. In Game 6, Detroit scored three times in the final 10 minutes of the third period to force Game 7. But that was where the Red Wings' comeback would end as San Jose prevailed following a 3-2 win that featured a 38-save night from Antti Niemi.

Alexandre Burrows was the hero for the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 against the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

This was the third straight spring these two teams had met in the postseason with Chicago winning in 2009 and 2010. This time it was a different story after a near-collapse by Vancouver. The Canucks stormed out to a 3-0 series lead after three tight games. The Blackhawks would answer with 7-2 and 5-0 victories in Games 4 and 5 and then take an overtime thriller in Game 6. The final game would go Vancouver's way with Alexandre Burrows playing the OT hero to advance the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Final, where they would fall to the Boston Bruins in seven games.

Two close opening games went the Bruins' way, as did a 4-1 victory in Game 3. Boston's commanding series lead quickly disappeared after three straight Flyers wins, including a pair by one goal. A Game 7 classic saw Simon Gagné's power play goal midway through the third period serve as the difference in Philadelphia's 4-3 series-clinching victory. The Bruins would reach the Stanley Cup Final two rounds later but fall to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.

The Islanders were involved in a 3-0 comeback in consecutive rounds during their first ever playoff appearance. First, they fell behind to the Penguins before head coach Al Arbour swapped Billy Smith for Chico Resch in goal. In Game 7, Resch posted a 30-save shutout and Ed Westfall scored the winner with 5:18 to play in the third period.

After becoming only the second North American professional sports team to win a best-of-seven playoff series after trailing 3-0, the Islanders nearly did it again to advance to the Stanley Cup Final. Two one-goal wins helped force Game 7, but the Flyers ended the series at The Spectrum with a 4-1 win in the deciding game. Philadelphia would go on to win its second consecutive championship by beating the Buffalo Sabres in six games in the Cup Final.

No team before the 2023-24 Oilers had ever forced a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final after being down 3-0 since the 1944-45 Red Wings. A low-scoring, tight series ended with Babe Pratt's power play goal in the third period to give Toronto a 2-1 lead it would not relinquish.

The Maple Leafs became the first North American professional sports team to win a best-of-seven playoff series after trailing 3-0 and won their fourth Stanley Cup with the historic comeback. It was the first Cup Final to need seven games and it remains the only one that saw the team down 3-0 claw back and win. Will the Oilers be joining them?

This was the first playoff series to require seven games after the Rangers won twice by one goal and took Game 6 after two key third-period power-play goals by Bill Carse and Alex Shibicky. But Game 7 did not go their way, and the Bruins became champions in the third overtime, thanks to Mel Hill, who recorded his third overtime goal of the series.

Game 1: Panthers 3, Oilers 0
Game 2: Panthers 4, Oilers 1
Game 3: Panthers 4, Oilers 3
Game 4: Oilers 8, Panthers 1
Game 5: Oilers 5, Panthers 3
Game 6: Oilers 5, Panthers 1
Game 7: Oilers at Panthers | Monday, June 24, 8 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN+)

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