Florida Panthers win their first Stanley Cup, surviving Oilers' unlikely comeback attempt (2024)

Canada will have to wait at least another year before a club north of the border can hoist the Stanley Cup.

Sam Reinhart’s late second-period goal lifted the Florida Panthers to a 2-1 victory over the visiting Edmonton Oilers in Game 7 of the NHL Final on Monday, helping the home team win its first title and denying Canadian hockey fans the prized trophy’s long-awaited return north.

Reinhart’s goal came moments after Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov cleared a puck that was precariously sliding in the crease behind goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.

The desperation clearance launched a Panthers rush, culminating inReinhart’s low wrister from the circle that beat Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner, an Edmonton native.

Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk, the son of American hockey great KeithTkachuk, recalled walking out of his house Monday afternoon with his dad and brother, Brady Tkachuk of the Ottawa Senators, wishing him well.

“All I wanted to do was to win it, not only for everybody out here, but I really wanted to win it for those two especially,”an emotional Matthew Tkachuk told ABC/ESPN.

As his players paraded with the Stanley Cup, veteran Panthers coach Paul Maurice said he was thinking about loved ones in and around Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, who supported him over the years.

“Hey Dad, your name’s going up [on the Stanley Cup] with your heroes, [Jean] Béliveau,[Maurice] Richard, [Gordie] Howe, [Ted] Lindsay, Maurice,” Maurice told Canadian broadcaster Sportsnet.

Before going to South Florida, Maurice spent parts of nine seasons behind the Winnipeg Jets bench. Even as he enjoyed the view from pro hockey’s mountaintop, Maurice shouted out his old co-workers in Manitoba.

“I’m just lucky,” he said. “If I could have one thing more, it’d be for the Winnipeg Jets to win the next Stanley Cup.”

How the Stanley Cup was won

  • Since the Montreal Canadiens won it all in 1993, the Stanley Cup has been won four times by Florida teams: The Panthers on Monday and the Tampa Bay Lightning three times (2004, 2020, 2021).
  • Florida's win put a bow on the coaching legacy of Panthers boss Paul Maurice, whose career behind the bench began in 1995-96 with the Hartford Whalers.
  • Oilers star Connor McDavid won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the outstanding player throughout the playoffs.
  • Florida goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky shook off three straight losses to stop 21 of 22 shots Monday. He stood tall against a barrage of Oilers shots late in the third.
  • Matthew Tkachuk hoisted the Stanley Cup a week after his Chaminade College Preparatory School classmate Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics won the NBA title.

Edmonton had been seeking to become only the fifth team in NHL history to rally from a 3-0 series deficit when it took the ice at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Florida.

Just 1½ weeks ago, the Panthers appeared invincible after their 4-3 victory at Edmonton in Game 3, giving them a 3-0 series lead.

The high-powered Oilers, who scored the fourth most goals in hockey this regular season, had put only four pucks past Bobrovsky in the first three games.

But the first three contests looked nothing like Games 4, 5 and 6 as Edmonton ran roughshod over Florida, scoring 18 to force Monday night’s decisive game.

Four teams had rallied from 3-0 holes to win best-of-7 playoff series in NHL history: the Toronto Maple Leafs (1942), the New York Islanders (1975), the Philadelphia Flyers (2010) and the Los Angeles Kings (2014). The Leafs’ feat came in the Stanley Cup Final.

But as the Panthers showed Monday, any momentum gained from wins in Games 4-6 often ends when the puck drops in Game 7. While four teams have come back from 3-0 deficits, five other 0-3 squads hadforced seventh games, only to lose the winner-take-all contests.

Edmonton is the sixth team to make such a valiant effort that fell just short.

The Detroit Red Wings (2011, 1945), the Chicago Blackhawks (2011), the Islanders (1975) and the New York Rangers (1939) all gallantly fought back before dropping seventh games. The 1975 Islanders pulled the 3-0 miracle in a quarterfinal series against the Pittsburgh Penguins and nearly pulled off the same feat in the semifinals against the Philadelphia Flyers before they fell in Game 7.

The Panthers’ win also kept alive a three-decade-long string of Canadian teams’ failing to win the Stanley Cup, a feat last accomplished in 1993, when the Montreal Canadiens won it all.

A Canadian team has made the Stanley Cup final seven times since the 1993 Habs, only to fall short against U.S.-based clubs.

Before it hoisted the cup Monday, Florida came close to lifting Lord Stanley’s famed chalice last year, when the Vegas Golden Knights won it all, and in 1996, when the Panthers fell to the Colorado Avalanche.

Reinhart, a native of British Columbia and son of former NHL defenseman Paul Reinhart, effusively praised the Oilers and said he didn't mind having to endure the near-humiliation of blowing a 3-0 lead.

"The level of talent they have on that team, to be up 3-0, they made it rough on us," he told the NHL Network. "That’s the way it was always going to be."

David K. Li

David K. Li is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital.

Florida Panthers win their first Stanley Cup, surviving Oilers' unlikely comeback attempt (2024)


Has the Florida Panthers ever won a Stanley Cup? ›

The Florida Panthers made history Monday night in front of more than 19,000 fans at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Florida, beating the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 to win their first Stanley Cup.

Who owns Florida Panthers? ›

Florida Panthers owner Vincent Viola speaks with NBC6 after the team won the 2024 Stanley Cup. On Sept. 27, 2013, the day Vincent Viola was introduced as the new owner of the Florida Panthers, he said his goal was to bring a Stanley Cup to South Florida.

Who did the Oilers lose to in 2006? ›

Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes returned to the RBC Center defeating the Oilers in Game 7, 3–1, to win the Stanley Cup. Aaron Ward and Frantisek Kaberle gave Carolina a 2–0 lead before Fernando Pisani scored for Edmonton 1:03 into the third period to cut the lead in half.

How old is the Florida Panthers team? ›

The team was founded in 1993 and took its name from the endangered Florida panther (Puma concolor couguar). Unlike most expansion teams, the Panthers were immediately competitive, coming within one win of qualifying for the playoffs in each of their first two seasons.

Who won the most Stanley Cups ever? ›

Which team has hoisted the Stanley Cup the most times? That would be the Montreal Canadiens, with 24 titles. Next are the Toronto Maple Leafs, with 13 championships, followed by the Detroit Red Wings, the winners of 11 Stanley Cups.

How many Florida Panthers are left? ›

The Florida panther's current status is listed as endangered. During the 1970s, only about 20-30 Florida panthers remained in the wild. Today, there are just over 200 left in the wild.

Why are Florida called the Panthers? ›

The team is named for the Florida panther, an endangered species of large cat endemic to the nearby Everglades region. Once the logos and uniforms were unveiled on June 15, the team also announced its financial commitment to the panther preservation cause.

Who is the newest team in the NHL? ›

The newest additions to the league are the Seattle Kraken in 2021 and the Utah Hockey Club in 2024. The league has also relocated several franchises, most recently in 2011 when the former Atlanta Thrashers became the second and current incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets.

Did the Oilers retire 99? ›

Wayne Gretzky's number 99 was retired league-wide in 2000; Gretzky's former teams the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings also separately retired his number.

What team was the Oilers now? ›

The team relocated from Houston to Tennessee in 1997 and played as the Tennessee Oilers for two years before the team changed its name to the Titans before the 1999 season. Since its inception in 1999, the Titans have played in one Super Bowl, but were defeated by the St.

How much does the NHL Stanley Cup weigh? ›

Currently the Cup consists of a bowl, three tiered bands, a collar, and five barrel or uniform bands. The trophy stands at 35.25 inches and weighs 34.5 pounds.

Who is number 77 on the Florida Panthers? ›

Niko Mikkola Stats And News | NHL.com.

Who is 94 on the Florida Panthers? ›

Ryan Lomberg (born December 9, 1994) is a Canadian professional ice hockey left winger currently playing for the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League (NHL). Lomberg won the Stanley Cup with the Florida Panthers in 2024.

How old do Florida Panthers get? ›

Panthers can live up to 20 years or more in the wild. Female kittens have a good chance of living 10 years or more.

How many Stanley Cups have the Hawks won? ›

The team has won the Stanley Cup Championship six times, in 1933, 1937, 1961, 2010, 2013 also in 2015.

What team has gone the longest without winning a Stanley Cup? ›

Among the current 32 NHL teams, ten have never won the Stanley Cup, with the oldest of them being the Vancouver Canucks and the Buffalo Sabres (53 seasons). The longest Stanley Cup drought in NHL history belongs to the Toronto Maple Leafs (56 seasons).

Has Tampa Bay ever won the Stanley Cup? ›

The Lightning were founded as an expansion team on December 6, 1990, and began play in the 1992–93 NHL season. The team has won three Stanley Cup championships: in 2004, 2020, and 2021.


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