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Bobrovsky Sparks 3-0 Shutout in Game 1 of Stanley Cup Finals – Hockey Writers – Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers got a Vezina Trophy-caliber goal from Sergei Bobrovsky in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers outshot the Panthers 32-18, but Bobrovsky stopped them all with several saves in the first period as the Oilers jumped out to a 13-4 advantage.

Despite that, Carter Verhaeghe opened the scoring for his 10th of the postseason (and 17 of his last 39 playoff games) when he took a backhand pass from captain Aleksander Barkov and buried it past Stuart Skinner. The Panthers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second half, then went on a 13-8 halftime run, doubling their lead after Sam Bennett's layup set up Evan Rodrigues for his fourth game of the playoffs.

The Panthers protected that 2-0 lead in the third period and grabbed an empty-netter in the final seconds to win Game 1 3-0. Bobrovsky earned his second shutout of the 2024 Playoffs, finishing with 32 saves. Skinner faced 18 but lost to the two-time Vezina Trophy winner and finalist this year. The Panthers' penalty kill was notable as well, as they killed all three chances to keep the Oilers' power play on the board.

News & Notes

Bobrovsky became the oldest goaltender to open the Stanley Cup Final with a shutout. It marked the first time the Panthers recorded a shutout out of the playoffs, and Bobrovsky's record 13th postseason victory.

Bobrovsky's shutout was the 16th all-time in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final and the seventh in the last 76 years. The total includes two shutouts in the same tournament, with Hal Winkler and Alec Connell going 0-0 to open the 1927 Final.

Bobrovsky made 13 saves in the first half, the most by a goalie in the opener of the Stanley Cup Final since 2016 when Sharks goalie Martin Jones stopped 13 of 15 shots he faced in the first frame of Game 1 in Pittsburgh. Bobrovsky became the first to make 13 or more saves in the first period of Game 1 of the Finals while allowing zero goals since Roberto Luongo in 2011 (17 saves in a 1-0 P1 win).

Related: 2024 Stanley Cup Final Hub

Verhaeghe scored his 25th playoff goal to make it 1-0. It was his 13th postseason go-ahead goal, the most by any player since 2021 (when he joined the Panthers and when he scored his first game-winning goal).

Brandon Montour collected an assist on Florida's second goal to increase his total in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs to three goals and 10 points. After scoring eight goals and 13 points in 2023, he became the first defenseman in franchise history to score in double figures in multiple postseasons.

The Oilers and Panthers will meet again in Game 2 on Monday, June 10.

**News and notes courtesy of NHL Media site

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