Ice Hockey: Stanley Cup Finals: Draisaitl’s Oilers under pressure

Ice Hockey: Stanley Cup Finals: Draisaitl’s Oilers under pressure

The three best attackers in the NHL playoffs all play for the Edmonton Oilers – and yet Leon Draisaitl’s team has only scored one goal after two games in the title finals.

Leon Draisaitl and the Edmonton Oilers lost their second game in the Stanley Cup finals. After another disappointing offensive performance, the NHL team from Canada lost 1:4 to the Florida Panthers.

The Oilers conceded the decisive third goal in the last seconds of a power play phase after a penalty against Draisaitl, who himself only had one shot on goal and has not yet reached the strong form he showed in the first round of the playoffs. The pressure on the Oilers is high ahead of the upcoming two games in Edmonton. They need four wins to win the National Hockey League title.

Man of the evening was Evan Rodrigues, who was the first Panthers professional in history to score a brace in the Stanley Cup finals. “I do whatever it takes, that’s always been my approach,” he said on US television.

32 shots without hits

After 32 shots without a goal in the 0-3 defeat in game one, the Oilers were successful with their first attempt and took the lead. Mattias Ekholm scored the first Stanley Cup goal for Edmonton since the last final appearance 18 years ago in the twelfth minute. The team with the three most successful attackers in the playoffs – Connor McDavid, Evan Bouchard and Draisaitl – only managed six more shots on goal after two thirds.

“We’re doing what we’ve been doing all year. These are great players who will get their chances, but we’re strong defensively. That’s been working well for us so far,” said Rodrigues. His brace sealed the deal after Niko Mikkola equalized. Aaron Ekblad scored the fourth goal into an empty net two and a half minutes before the end, when Edmonton risked everything and played without a goalkeeper.

Rodrigues’ second goal was preceded by a penalty for Draisaitl, who hit his opponent Alexander Barkov in the chin with his elbow and had to miss two minutes. Barkov did not return to the ice after the incident. After successfully overcoming 34 shorthanded situations in these playoffs, Rodrigues ended the Oilers’ streak and scored. For the Panthers, it was the first power play goal in the playoffs this season. “Our mentality changed a bit in the third period and we treated it like a normal five-on-five,” reported Rodrigues.

After his impressive streak of 13 playoff games in a row with at least one scoring point, Draisaitl has zero goal involvements in two games in the finals, while McDavid has one scoring point so far thanks to his assist for the 1-0 win.

Source: Stern

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