However, just 66 seconds later, it was another unfortunate sequence that nullified Connor’s franchise record-setting penalty shot.
Verhaeghe’s stick was flung out of his hands as Kane pursued a puck, and that detail would come into play not long after. Philip Broberg was skating backwards defending Mikkola carrying the puck up ice by the benches before Edmonton’s young defender tripped over Verhaeghe’s loose stick, creating a partial odd-man rush for the Panthers.
When the Finnish defender for Florida tried to put it across to Evan Rodrigues, Nurse slid across to try and defend the pass, but his trailing stick ended up redirecting the puck through the five-hole of Pickard to even things up once again.
“You can call it luck, but obviously those are hockey goals and we’ve got to find a way to score a few ourselves,” McDavid said.
Then, a breakdown by the Oilers off a Florida zone entry with seven minutes left in the middle frame put the Panthers ahead for the first time in the game.
Stenlund finished off a flurry of Florida chances that came off plenty of persistence around Edmonton’s crease after the puck was originally put on net by the defenceman. Stenlund turned with the puck at the right circle and snapped a short-side shot past Pickard, who couldn’t get across in time with the puck bouncing erratically in front of his crease to delay his reaction.
“A lack of effort, a little bit of frustration, but also everyone working together,” Knoblauch said. “The effort has been great. I have no questions about that. But when you’re frustrated, you often aren’t thinking clearly with a clear mind and often you forget an assignment or you work too hard; you over back check and you open up the slot. Those kinds of things are where we need to just step back and just make the right place.”