Apr 23, 2024; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Florida Panthers center Carter Verhaeghe (23) celebrates with defenseman Brandon Montour (62) after an overtime win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in game two of the first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amerant Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton and Florida Prepare for Game 2 of Stanley Cup Finals

Game 2 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Finals between the Edmonton Oilers and the Florida Panthers kicks off tonight.

Key Narratives to Follow

The Panthers are coming off a convincing 3-0 win in Game 1. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 32 saves for the third Stanley Cup Playoff shutout of his career. He shut down the Oilers’ offense and posted a +3.66 goals-saved-above-expected rating. This is the highest mark by any goalie this postseason.

Despite Bobrovsky’s heroics, the Panthers certainly displayed some issues that they need to remedy. Edmonton led on high-danger chances (18-6) and had 14 shots coming from the inner slot. The Oilers also dominated time of offensive zone possession, nearly doubling that of the Panthers. Allowing the Oilers to get 32 shots off (compared to just 18 for Florida) is not a winning strategy, especially against a consistently efficient scoring team like Edmonton.

Florida’s experience on this stage proved fruitful as the Panthers handled the pressure well, but the team has to be sharper defensively if they hope to maintain their advantage.

With Hart Trophy-winning forwards Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the Oilers must capitalize on the opportunities they passed up in Game 2. They ranked third in Corsi percentage during the regular season and sixth out of 16 teams in the playoffs. Edmonton also held the highest expected goal percentage in the regular season and has performed at a similar level in this postseason run. If they’re able to replicate the number of good looks they had in Game 1, the odds are in their favor.

Assuming that the team adjusts accordingly, Edmonton’s general control of the game bodes well for their chances to bounce back. Florida’s offense and defense have been stellar throughout this run, but it would be naive of them to assume that Bobrovsky will duplicate his stellar play without fail.

Where to Watch

Tune in to Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals at 8 pm on ABC.

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