Oilers Game 7: Stanley Cup Final Game 7- Predictions for Oilers-Panthers...

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Published Time: 24.06.2024 - 11:13:14 Modified Time: 24.06.2024 - 11:13:14

Jump ahead: What's at stake? Players to watch, picks Key stats for Game 7 Oilers Game 7, stanley cup game 7

Victoria Matiash, NHL analyst: Carter Verhaeghe. Minus-11 through the past four games, he has one lonely assist since the series opener. Not so good. The top-line winger now has one contest remaining to save his team from suffering a legendary collapse his own reputation as a clutch playoff performer. No one will remember the inferior numbers leading in if Verhaeghe manages to tangibly turn it around when it matters most.

Arda Öcal, NHL broadcaster: Gustav Forsling. As the Panthers have gone, so has Forsling. He was plus-4 in Games 1-3, minus-5 in Games 4-6. Will he be able to play that shutdown role in Game 7? Can he contain McDavid like he did in the first three games? Forsling will certainly get his flowers from hockey fans, even if his contributions might not receive the big headlines, but they certainly are important and critical to Florida's success in Game 7 and ultimately raising the Stanley Cup.

Kristen Shilton, NHL reporter: Sam Reinhart. Reinhart has been noticeably missing in this Cup Final. One goal and two assists through six games -- and zero points total in the past three when Florida had a chance to put Edmonton away? That's shocking output from a skater who put up 57 goals in the regular season and produced 12 points in 17 postseason games prior to the Panthers facing the Oilers. Whatever has gone wrong for Reinhart so far, he'd better put it behind him in a hurry. Florida needs its best players to match what Edmonton has going from its stars in this series.

Greg Wyshynski, NHL reporter: Matthew Tkachuk. Welp, here we are. The chance for a superstar to have a superstar moment. Tkachuk tied with Aleksander Barkov for the team lead in scoring (22 points), but you can count on one hand the number of games in which Tkachuk was a driving force for Florida. We caught a glimpse of that player in the Panthers' Game 5 loss: Throwing the body, defending brilliantly and factoring on two goals. That was sandwiched by two minus-3 efforts, including Game 6, when his line with Sam Bennett and Evan Rodrigues was a major dud. A playoff run that has been more compilation than clutch will be immediately rewritten by an impactful Stanley Cup Final Game 7. A broken sternum cost him this kind of chance in 2023 against Vegas. This is his moment.

Clark: Connor McDavid. The fact he didn't have a single shot on goal in Game 6 is wild, given that he's the game's best and most dominant player. But it also speaks to how the Oilers can win even if he doesn't record a shot or a point. We've seen the Oilers rely on their entire roster to force a Game 7. If they can get another multipoint performance from McDavid in addition to the secondary and tertiary offense they produced in Game 6, it could prove too overwhelming en route to winning their first Stanley Cup in more than 30 years.

Matiash: Leon Draisaitl. It would seem a bit bizarre to watch the Oilers hoist the Cup following a seven-gamer in which Draisaitl, even badly hobbled, didn't score a single goal. Especially considering his postseason history and the handful of recent quality chances. One of his own past Panthers goaltender Bobrovsky, along with a helper similar to Friday's perfect pass to Warren Foegele to open the scoring in Game 6, would go a long way to sealing the deal for Edmonton.

Öcal: The obvious answer here is McDavid, but I'll go with Draisaitl. He has three assists this series, which is surprising by his lofty standards. The Oilers won their first game without McDavid registering a point or a shot in Game 6, but the Oilers also pushed this to Game 7 without Draisaitl being the second-best player on the team, which he usually is. He had flashes of his usual self Friday; what if Monday is "The Draisaitl Game"?

Shilton: Zach Hyman. We can't say Hyman is underrated, per se. But he has 16 goals in the playoffs (the most by any active player in a single postseason), and he tends to light the lamp in a timely fashion to boot. That's going to be key for Edmonton in Game 7. Florida will be zeroed in on containing McDavid and Draisaitl, which should continue to give Hyman opportunity to do his thing. If the Oilers need a consistent performance in any facet of the game, they can count on Hyman to deliver. And he's just fun to watch.

Wyshynski: Stuart Skinner. ​​Were it not for McDavid rewriting the record books, Skinner would have a legitimate claim to the Conn Smythe Trophy for his late-series mastery in every round. Skinner has a 10-0 record, a 1.50 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage in Games 4-7 in the postseason. He's 5-0 when facing elimination this postseason, only the eighth goalie to win five elimination games in a single postseason. In Edmonton's past three wins, he has a 1.67 GAA and a .942 save percentage. Heck of a Mario Kart player, too.

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