Takeaways From The Panthers 3-0 Game 1 Win Over The Oilers

The final score might have suggested a dominant win in Game 1 for the Panthers, but it was anything but that. It took an amazing effort from Sergei Bobrovsky and some timely scoring for Florida to come away with the W. Let’s get to a few takeaways from Saturday night’s game.

Panthers vs Oilers Game 1 Takeaways

The Panthers defeated the Oilers 3-0 in Game 1

Sergei Bobrovsky Was The Best Player On The Ice

Edmonton outshot Florida 32-18 and controlled the game for the most part, but the difference was in net. In order to win a Stanley Cup you’re going to need a few goalie wins, and last night was 100% that for the Panthers. The Oilers were the better team from start to finish, their power play was buzzing, and at times the Panthers looked confused and like they were chasing on the penalty kill, but it didn’t really matter. Bobrovsky was everywhere. Is that a sustainable model to win a series? Probably not. But a win is a win, and the Panthers are now just three wins away from a Cup.

The Oilers Shouldn’t Panic

If Edmonton plays like that throughout the series, they’ll probably be just fine. If Bobrovsky is going to be that good every night, there’s really nothing the Oilers can do. There were plenty of positives to take from the loss though. As mentioned above, the power play looked really good. They didn’t score, but it looked as dangerous as ever. Even Florida’s head coach Paul Maurice acknowledged that Bobrovsky was by far their best penalty killer by far. If the Oilers look like that with the extra man for the rest of this series, they’ll have no problem breaking through.

Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers Capitalized Like Champions

Outside of Bobrovsky, the Panthers played nowhere near their best game last night. Edmonton outshot them, out-chanced them, and controlled the play. But when the Panthers got an opportunity, they pounced and took advantage. That can often be the difference between winning a Stanley Cup and falling just short. When you don’t have your ‘A’ game, you find ways to steal games by capitalizing on chances.

Last night for the first goal, Darnell Nurse and Cody Ceci got a little overaggressive defending a 3-on-2 which led to a great pass to an open Carter Verhaeghe who buried his open look. 1-0 Florida.

On the second goal, Sam Bennett flat-out beat Ceci to a puck in the corner and was able to slide it back into the slot to a wide-open Evan Rodrigues who didn’t miss when given the Grade A chance. 2-0 Florida.

So while it wasn’t anywhere near the Panthers’ best effort, they did what champions do and found a way to win. Obviously Bobrovsky was a huge part of it, but on the other end of the ice, they took advantage of the limited chances they had.

Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

written by

Matt is from the Chicagoland area and has been working in Chicago sports since 2015 with stops at WGN Radio, the Chicago Blackhawks, Stadium, and NBC Sports Chicago prior to landing at Betsperts. Matt covers just about everything for Betsperts and Bleacher Nation but focuses on the NHL and college football.

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