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Panthers-Oilers Game 1 takeaways, early look at Game 2 - ESPN

The Florida Panthers have struck first in the 2024 Stanley Cup Final, winning Game 1 by a 3-0 score over the Edmonton Oilers.

It was a shutout for Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, whose legendary status as «Playoff Bob» continues to grow. Game 2 between the clubs is Monday (8 p.m. ET, ABC and ESPN+).

Here's what stood out in Florida's victory, along with key players to watch in Game 2 and the biggest lingering question.

Florida basically played a perfect game on Saturday. The penalty kill stood tall against Edmonton's vaunted power play (going 3-for-3 on the night), and despite being outshot by a wide margin (33-18), there was no question the Panthers were in control from start to finish.

Sergei Bobrovsky turned in one of his strongest overall performances of the postseason and showed no signs of the wear and tear he displayed at the beginning of last year's Stanley Cup Final.

Multiple things can be true at once, and that might be the strongest way to assess what happened to the Oilers in Game 1. Their system essentially worked, in that they were able to generate scoring chances from different parts of the ice while limiting opportunities in the defensive zone. It's what they've done throughout the postseason.

But the Oilers were left searching for answers because of Bobrovsky. They finished with 33 shots, 22 scoring chances and 13 high-danger chances. They limited the Panthers to 18 shots, 18 scoring chances and 6 high-danger chances. But they struggled to consistently get shots for most of the third period, and they were held goalless for the first time this postseason. Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch and his assistants must use the break between games to find a breakthrough for Game 2.

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