NHL

Stanley Cup Final: Oilers on verge of historic 3-0 comeback after blowing out Panthers to force Game 7

Stanley Cup Final: Oilers on verge of historic 3-0 comeback after blowing out Panthers to force Game 7

The Edmonton Oilers are one win away from a Stanley Cup title, a historic comeback and the first Canadian championship in 31 years.

As for the Florida Panthers, it just has to hurt right now.

With a 5-1 win in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Oilers became the first team in 78 years to force a Game 7 in a SCF where they once trailed 3-0. Game 7 is scheduled for Monday at 8 p.m. ET in Florida (ABC, ESPN+).

An Edmonton win would make the team only the second in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup after trailing 3-0, joining the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs' stunning of the Detroit Red Wings. Only four teams have overcome a 3-0 playoffs deficit at all, the most recent being the 2014 Los Angeles Kings.

The good news for the Panthers is teams that once trailed 3-0 are actually 4-5 in Game 7s, with the 1945 Maple Leafs holding off a reversal of fortune by the Red Wings. Of course, the lopsided nature of Games 4 through 6 likely has the optimism low on the Florida side.

It was a familiar story in Game 6, with the Oilers taking a three-goal lead in the second period for the third game in a row. That started with Leon Draisaitl finding Warren Foegele with a beautiful pass on a breakaway in the first period.

Edmonton took a 2-0 lead 46 seconds into the second period, but then controversy arrived.

Ten seconds after the Oilers' Adam Henrique found the back of the net, Aleksander Barkov appeared to get that goal right back with what would have been his second goal of the series.

However, the Oilers challenged the goal, arguing Sam Reinhart was offsides before the goal. Replays showed Reinhart's skate fully crossed the blue line within milliseconds of the puck crossing, but the referees eventually decided it was clear enough to overturn the goal.

Panthers head coach Paul Maurice was furious after the decision was announced.

While the call looked impossibly close on the ABC broadcast, Sportsnet had an angle that made the reversal more explicable.

The Oilers struck one more time via Zach Hyman at the end of the second period, leaving the Panthers in a situation where they needed to overcome a 3-0 deficit to avoid blowing a 3-0 lead.

Barkov made up a little ground early in the third with a gorgeous goal, but that was all Florida would get. Edmonton's Ryan McLeod scored an empty-net goal with 3:15 remaining to put the game away, followed by one more from Henrique for good measure. The Panthers could have made it harder for the Oilers, but they came up short on three power plays, continuing a string of 46 penalty kills in 47 shorthanded situations for the Oilers.

Now, to avoid humiliation, the Panthers must completely reverse their performance from the past three games. At least they can say that's already been done once in this 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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