Edmonton Oilers defeat Florida Panthers in Game 5 of Stanley Cup Final, forcing Game 6

The Edmonton Oilers once again staved off elimination in the fifth game of the Stanley Cup Final Tuesday night, defeating the Florida Panthers 5-3 in Sunrise, Florida, to force a Game 6 in the best-of-seven series.

After winning Game 4 in an 8-1 blowout, the Oilers jumped ahead early again with three unanswered goals before the Panthers found the net. Florida rallied to cut the deficit to 4-3 early in the third period, but could never muster a tying goal.

In the waning seconds of the game, Edmonton star Connor McDavid iced the win with an empty netter, his second goal of the night.

“We’ve got to go to Florida and do a job, and drag them back to Alberta,” McDavid said prior to the game.

The Oilers, who appeared destined for disappointment after falling behind in the series three games to none, are now very much alive and have the momentum as the scene shifts back to Edmonton. With a win at home on Friday, the Oilers would push the series to a decisive Game 7.

The Oilers have now won two games in a row after the Panthers held a 3-1 advantage.

Evan Rodrigues #17 of the Florida Panthers celebrates with teammates on the bench after a goal by teammate Oliver Ekman-Larsson #91 (not pictured) during Game Five of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final. - Dave Sandford/NHLI/Getty Images
Evan Rodrigues #17 of the Florida Panthers celebrates with teammates on the bench after a goal by teammate Oliver Ekman-Larsson #91 (not pictured) during Game Five of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final. - Dave Sandford/NHLI/Getty Images

History has been on the Panthers’ side. Four times in NHL postseason history has a team come back to win a series after falling behind 0-3, but it has only happened once in the Stanley Cup Final - more than 80 years ago when the Toronto Maple Leafs rallied to defeat the Detroit Red Wings in 1942.

The Oilers are looking to snap a three-decade Stanley Cup drought for Canadian teams. The Montreal Canadiens were the last team from north of the border to lift the Cup back in 1993.

According to Oilers forward Connor Brown, the team flourishes in scenarios where they’re the underdog.

Mattias Ekholm #14 of the Edmonton Oilers looks on in the hallway before Game Five of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final. - Dave Sandford/NHLI/Getty Images
Mattias Ekholm #14 of the Edmonton Oilers looks on in the hallway before Game Five of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final. - Dave Sandford/NHLI/Getty Images

“I feel we’re most comfortable when our backs are against the wall,” Brown said before Tuesday’s game, per the NHL. “That’s kind of what we showed at the beginning of the year when we were dead last, our backs against the wall and we came out and had some historic runs, so I think we’re a new club in that regard.”

“When we get in a rhythm and we get playing our brand of hockey, we know what it feels like and (Saturday) night, we knew exactly what it feels like. We’re a scary club.”

Despite the pressure resting on their shoulders, the team is just taking it one game at a time, according to captain McDavid.

“It’s just one win, that’s all it is,” McDavid said before the game, per the NHL. “It doesn’t matter if you scored eight or if you scored one, it’s just one win.”

CNN’s Ben Morse contributed to this report.

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