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Panthers win chippy game 2 to put pressure on Oilers as series shifts to Edmonton

After being shutout in game one, the Edmonton Oilers got a much-needed opening goal in game two of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.

But the Florida Panthers would respond with four unanswered goals to claim a 4-1 victory in game two and take an all-important 2-0 lead as the series shifts to Edmonton for games three and four.

After the teams got to know each other a bit in the opener on Saturday, Monday’s affair was chippy from start to finish and saw several players leave the game due to injury or ejection.

Oilers forward Warren Foegele was sent to the showers in the first period after a knee-on-knee hit on Florida’s Eetu Luostarinen that saw a five-minute major penalty assessed to Foegele.

Loustarinen’s injury came just seconds after Panthers’ forward Evan Rodrigues left the ice gingerly after an awkward collision with Sam Carrick.

Both Rodrigues and Loustarinen returned to the game, but the same can’t be said for Florida captain Alexander Barkov who was hurt with 10 minutes to play in the third.

Barkov took a high hit from Oilers’ star Leon Draisaitl that sent him to the ice in obvious pain. He went to the locker room and did not return, and his coaches and teammates were mum on his status post game.

On the Oilers side, it was a first period injury to Darnell Nurse that is most concerning.

The veteran blue liner went to the room several times, and even played a couple shifts in the final 50 minutes of the game, but ended the contest with only four minutes of total ice time.

Edmonton’s lone goal of the game opened the scoring just past the midway mark of the first period, as Mattias Ekholm beat Sergei Bobrovsky five hole in an odd-man rush.

The score stayed 1-0 for the visitors until midway through the middle frame when Niko Mikkola joined a Panthers rush and wired home a one-timer to knot things up at one apiece.

In the third, it was the Rodrigues show, as the forward who scored the insurance tally in game one broke the deadlock with his fifth of the playoffs to give Florida its first lead.

He followed that up with the insurance marker once again, just like he did 48 hours earlier, giving the Panthers a two-goal cushion with 7:34 left to play.

Aaron Ekblad, who also briefly left the game with an apparent injury in the first period, only to return to action a minute or two later, sealed the deal with an empty netter to make it 4-1.

Sergei Bobrovsky was not tested as much as he was on Saturday, but still looked comfortable with 18 saves in the win, while Stuart Skinner stopped 25 of 28 shots in a losing cause.

With two full days off until game three in Edmonton on Thursday, there will be plenty of talk about injuries and even potential suspensions as the teams travel north to Alberta.

Thumbnail photo courtesy of Getty Images.

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