SUNRISE, Fla. (Diya TV) – After what should go down as a classic Stanley Cup Finals, the Florida Panthers brought home the famed trophy for the first time in franchise history. The Edmonton Oilers were on the losing end, but came back down from 3-0 to force a Game 7 in a strong show of will and determination. 

Panthers winger Sam Reinhart ended up scoring the winner as Florida won 2-1 in a tense final game. Both goalies played well in net but it was the champs’ Sergei Bobrovsky who came up huge with 23 saves. 

“He deserves it,” captain Aleksander Barkov said of Bobrovsky. “He’s been here for a long time and has been our best player for a long time.”

The Panthers were in a similar spot last season, making the Stanley Cup Finals and losing to the Vegas Golden Knights. Florida is now the third team in the last 40 years to win the Cup after losing in the finals the year prior. Head coach Paul Maurice had been chasing a championship in the NHL since 1997 and finally found it in 2024. 

I’ve been chasing that for a long time,” Maurice said. “It’s got nothing to do with the coach; this group has been special since day one.”

Even though the Oilers fell, star Connor McDavid took home the Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP) after one of the most dominant postseason performances ever. The forward had 42 points during the playoffs which led all scorers and was five short of the record Gretzky set in 1985. 

“He brings it every single day, and when we need him the most that’s when he plays his best,” teammate Dylan Holloway said. “He’s obviously a really special player and a special guy, too.”

McDavid did not register a single point in the first three games of the Stanley Cup Finals, but had four points in back to back games to stave off elimination. Considered by many to be the best hockey player in the world, the star came just short of immortality. 

Had Florida lost, it would have become one of two teams to lose the Stanley Cup Finals after being up 3-0. However, the scare was avoided and the Panthers and their fans can breathe a monumental sigh of relief.