Panthers take an additional day earlier than 2,500-mile trek to Canada, transferring nearer to first Cup Remaining trophy

Because the Edmonton Oilers boarded their flight again to Alberta for Sport 3 of the Stanley Cup Remaining on Tuesday, the Florida Panthers remained at house.

They will fly out of South Florida on Wednesday, which supplies them an additional day’s relaxation earlier than a six-plus hour flight 2,543 miles to the opposite facet of the continent.

It helps that the NHL scheduled two days between Video games 2 and three, given that is the furthest distance between two teams in a ultimate in NHL historical past.

The sequence resumes with Sport 3 in Edmonton on Thursday.

“Simply the perform of the size of the flight and the journey I believe it’s very sensible that there’s two days off,” mentioned Panthers coach Paul Maurice. “It makes it honest, and on the finish of the day that’s certainly what this must be. Each groups work so laborious to get right here, it must be a extremely even enjoying area with no actual drawback within the logistics of how the sequence is run. So, there shouldn’t be two days for one staff, however solely sooner or later for the opposite once they come again. That is proper, it’s the best way it must be.”

There’s lots that the Panthers plan to do to maintain themselves occupied on the best way over: Sleep. Card video games. Tv. Extra sleep.

“I play poker,” mentioned Panthers Matthew Tkachuk, who entered the league after being drafted with the sixth decide in 2016 by Canada’s Calgary Flames, who play practically 200 miles south of Edmonton.

“I don’t know if I can play poker for six hours, to be sincere. I’ll in all probability do poker, little little bit of a pretend nap, stroll round, again to enjoying poker. It’s a lengthy flight. You solely do it a pair instances a 12 months, in order that half goes to be slightly totally different this sequence, positively.”

After they arrive in Canada, the Panthers may have momentum on their facet due to the stellar efficiency of goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and a lockdown defense.

And the percentages are of their favor.

Groups that maintain a 2-0 sequence lead within the Stanley Cup Remaining are 49-5 all time. The chance of profitable all of it will increase to .964% for groups that go up three video games to none.

The provision of Florida captain Aleksander Barkov is in jeopardy, although, after he was knocked out of Sport 2 halfway via the third interval following a success from Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl.

Maurice mentioned Barkov “wasn’t worse” on Tuesday however can be additional assessed on Wednesday.


Edmonton’s energy play, which transformed at a postseason-best 37%, is 0 for 7 via two video games of the ultimate. Requested Tuesday what extra must occur, coach Kris Knoblauch mentioned, “Put the puck within the web.”

“We hit three goalposts,” Knoblauch mentioned earlier than flying house. “If these are 1 / 4 of an inch to the within, we’re in all probability speaking about how our energy play saved us and got here via crucially. I’m undecided how rather more we are able to do. Simply sharpen up our taking pictures and be slightly extra correct, I assume.”

The additional day provides the Oilers an opportunity to regroup in each side, and so they’ll be on the ice in Edmonton roughly when the Panthers are flying.

“We’ll have observe day tomorrow to work on these issues,” Knoblauch mentioned. “There can be quite a lot of conversations with the teaching employees, administration to grasp what they see and something we are able to enhance on.”


AP Hockey Author Stephen Whyno contributed.


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