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Ice hockey: Draisaitl is in the NHL finals for the first time with Edmonton

Ice hockey: Draisaitl is in the NHL finals for the first time with Edmonton

Leon Draisaitl has made it to the finals for the first time in his NHL career and will fight for the Stanley Cup. His Edmonton Oilers eliminated the Dallas Stars in the playoff semi-finals.

The Edmonton Oilers, led by German ice hockey star Leon Draisaitl, have advanced to the NHL finals. The Canadian team won the sixth game of the semi-final series against the Dallas Stars 2-1 (2-0, 0-0, 0-1) and secured the Western Conference title.

The Cologne native has been playing for the Oilers since 2014 and will be able to play in the Stanley Cup finals for the first time. The Canadian team last made it to the finals of the North American ice hockey league in the 2005/06 season.

“We always knew what a good team we actually are,” said Draisatil about reaching the final. “We put in a lot of work and overcame some adversities, we had so many ups and downs this season.”

In the finals against the Florida Panthers

The Oilers got off to a bad start, winning only two of their first eleven games of the season and replacing their coach. The turnaround followed under new head coach Kris Knoblauch. Edmonton is only the third team in NHL history after Toronto (1958/59) and St. Louis (2018/19) to reach the finals despite being ten points behind a playoff spot at one point in the regular season.

In the sixth duel with the Stars, the Oilers took a 2-0 lead after the first period. After just over four minutes, Draisaitl served his co-star Connor McDavid on the power play to put them ahead. Zach Hyman was also successful from the power play. Edmonton goalkeeper Stuart Skinner only had to reach behind him in the middle of the final period and parried 34 shots on his goal.

In the finals, the Oilers will face the Florida Panthers, who were in the finals last season but lost to the Vegas Golden Knights. The Panthers also beat the New York Rangers 4-2 in the semifinals. The team from Florida has home advantage thanks to their better record in the regular season, and the first game will take place on Saturday in Sunrise.

Source: Stern

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