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Stanley Cup Final: Oilers continue historic rally, force Game 7 vs. Panthers

Edmonton Oilers forward Warren Foegele (R) registered a goal and assist in a win over the Florida Panthers in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final on Friday in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI
Edmonton Oilers forward Warren Foegele (R) registered a goal and assist in a win over the Florida Panthers in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final on Friday in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

June 21 (UPI) -- The Edmonton Oilers continued their historic rally, dominating the Florida Panthers in Game 6 on Friday to become just the third team in NHL history to force a Game 7 after falling behind 3-0 in a Stanley Cup Final.

Forward Warren Foegele registered a goal and an assist in the 5-1 triumph in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Goalie Stuart Skinner made 20 stops and also assisted on a score.

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Game 7 will be Monday in Sunrise, Fla.

"The fans and everybody believes in us," Oilers forward Zach Hyman said on the ABC broadcast. "It's special to play here, special to play in this game in front of this crowd and to force a Game 7."

Entering Friday, only the 1941-42 Toronto Maple Leafs and 1944-45 Detroit Red Wings had lost the first three games of a Stanley Cup Final and won the next three to force a Game 7. The Maple Leafs beat the Red Wings in the 1942 series. The Red Wings also lost to the Maple Leafs in Game 7 in 1945.

"It's an unshakable belief," Hyman said of the Oilers' mentality. "We've talked about it a bunch. No matter what happened throughout the year, we've always believed we can pull through. No matter how dire the circumstance, we think we have a chance.

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"It was a long season facing adversity and battling back, but the next one is going to be the hardest."

Oilers defenders quickly spoiled the Panthers' early efforts Friday on their home ice, holding the foes to just two shots through the first period. They then jumped ahead 3-0 within the first 38:20 and never looked back.

Defenseman Darnell Nurse and forwards Adam Henrique and Ryan McLeod joined Foegele and Hyman as the Oilers' five goal scorers.

Foegele beat net minder Sergei Bobrovsky for first blood 7:27 into the game. Fellow forward Leon Draisaitl and defenseman Brett Kulak assisted that goal. The Oilers carried the 1-0 lead into the second period.

Forward Mattias Janmark and Mattias Ekholm assisted Henrique for a second Oilers goal just 46 seconds into the bridge frame.

Panthers star forward Aleksander Barkov appeared to cut into the deficit just 10 seconds later, but his goal was disallowed because of an offside call. Hyman then made the score 3-0 with another shot by Bobrovsky with 1:40 remaining in the period.

Barkov finally put the Panthers on the scoreboard with a wrist shot past Skinner 88 seconds into the third period. But McLeod and Nurse secured the Oilers' victory with two empty-net goals within the final 4 minutes.

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Bobrovsky stopped 16 of the 19 shot attempts he faced. The Panthers and Oilers totaled 21 shot attempts apiece. The Oilers edged the Panthers 18-5 in takeaways.

Game 7 is scheduled for 8 p.m. EDT Monday at Amerant Bank Arena.

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