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Oilers show up in dominant Game 5 performance

The Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers are both one win away from advancing to the Stanley Cup final. The Panthers will attempt to eliminate the visiting New York Rangers tonight, while the Oilers will aim to sideline the Stars on Sunday in the Alberta capital.

Here are five things to know about the NHL playoffs:

OILERS ONE WIN FROM CUP BERTH

The Edmonton Oilers enjoyed one of their finest hours in this year’s playoffs, and were rewarded with a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars last night at American Airlines Center.

If the Oilers, who got two power-play goals from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, can repeat the feat Sunday at Rogers Place, they’ll be going to the Stanley Cup final for the first time since 2006.

Evan Bouchard, who chipped in with two assists last night, became the third-fastest defenceman (45 games) in NHL history to reach 50 playoff points behind only Bobby Orr (39 games) and Brian Leetch (41 games).

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl picked up assists to overtake Oilers great and current assistant coach Paul Coffey for fifth on the franchise’s all-time playoff points list. Edmonton’s dynamic duo each have 104 points in 66 career games, while Coffey amassed 103 in 94 contests.

GREAT ONE PUZZLED WITH WEST FINAL 

After the first four games in the Edmonton Oilers-Dallas Stars, where big leads weren’t safe, Wayne Gretzky said the only thing you can figure out about the Western Conference final series is that you can’t figure it out.

However, Edmonton scoring star Leon Draisaitl said if his Oilers show up like they did last night in Dallas, his team’s best beats anyone’s best.

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AIMING FOR RARE BACK-TO-BACK CUP APPEARANCES

The Florida Panthers are on the cusp of accomplishing something the NHL hasn’t seen in 15 years.

With one more win in the Eastern Conference final against the New York Rangers — be it Game 6 tonight at Amerant Bank Arena or a winner-take-all Game 7 on Monday at Madison Square Garden — the Panthers will find themselves back in the Stanley Cup final a year after losing in the final round of the playoffs.

The last team to do that was the Pittsburgh Penguins, who lost in the Stanley Cup final in 2008 and came back to win it in 2009.

RANGERS NO STRANGER TO GAME 6 PRESSURE

If you’re a believer in odds and statistics, the New York Rangers should be able to force a Game 7 in their series with the Florida Panthers, despite facing an elimination game tonight in the Sunshine State.

The Rangers have lost their last seven Eastern Conference final Game 5s, dating back to 1994. However, the Rangers are 7-2 in Game 6’s when trailing a series 3-2 dating back to 2013.

CUP FINAL WILL START JUNE 8

The NHL announced yesterday that the Stanley Cup final will start on Saturday, June 8. Every game in the best-of-seven series will start at 8 p.m. ET and will be available on Sportsnet, CBC and TVA Sports in Canada.

Media Day in advance of the Stanley Cup final takes place on June 7.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2024.

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