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No La Bamba as Oilers comeback comes up short

The Oilers threw everything at the Panthers in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, but it was not to be.  The Florida Panthers won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, winning Game 7 2-1.

Florida opened the scoring early in the first period on a goal by Carter Verhaeghe.  Just over two minutes later, however, Cody Ceci sprung Mattias Janmark with a long pass on a breakaway, and the game was tied.

Sam Reinhart scored what would be the winning goal at 15:11 of the second period.  

The Oilers threw everything at the Panthers in the third period, getting many great chances and some ‘how did that not go in’ moments, but it just wasn’t enough.

The officials put away their whistles, not calling a single penalty on either team throughout the game.

The only consolation for the Oilers is that Connor McDavid won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP, much to the irritation of Panthers fans in attendance in Sunrise, FL.  But that’s cold comfort when the aim of every NHLer is to lift the Stanley Cup.

After Game 3 it looked as if the Oilers could be swept in the Final series.  But the Oilers worked hard, battled back, and made this among the most thrilling and exciting Stanley Cup Finals ever.  

In 1983, the Oilers—led by Wayne Gretzky—experienced the agony of defeat in their first Stanley Cup Final at the hands of the New York Islanders.  That valuable experience sparked a dynasty of five Stanley Cup Championships in seven years.

Who’s excited to see what next year brings?

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in Game 7