Oilers 1 win away from history after pushing Stanley Cup final to 7th game

Friday’s win moved the Oilers closer to breaking Canada’s Cup curse
web1_20240621220640-667639c0e008da9ae1658600jpeg
Edmonton Oilers’ Warren Foegele (37) celebrates a goal against the Florida Panthers during first-period Game 6 action of the NHL Stanley Cup final in Edmonton, Friday, June 21, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

If the Edmonton Oilers can show off their trademark resilience just one more time, they will make Stanley Cup history.

Depth forward Warren Foegele had a goal and an assist as the Oilers forced a decisive Game 7 in this year’s Cup final with a 5-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Friday in front of a raucous Rogers Place crowd.

The win moved the Oilers closer to breaking Canada’s Cup curse and has Edmonton on the cusp of becoming just the second team to come back from a 3-0 deficit in the final.

Forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, in his 13th season with the Oilers and the team’s longest-tenured player, said it was “amazing” to pull out a win in their final home game of the season in front of 18,347 exuberant fans.

“These fans have been behind us since I have been here and this season has been incredible. To be able to do the job tonight in front of them … it was really special,” said Nugent-Hopkins. “We know the job is not done and they know the job is not done, (but) we’re excited for the opportunity.”

The Stanley Cup has taken up residence south of the border since the Montreal Canadiens beat Wayne Gretzky’s Los Angeles Kings in the 1993 final. It marked the eighth time in 10 seasons that a Canadian team had hoisted the iconic trophy.

Since then the Cup has lived in such non-traditional markets as Tampa, Fla., Los Angeles, Dallas, Raleigh, N.C., and Las Vegas.

Edmonton has a golden opportunity to bring the Stanley Cup home, but the job is not done. The Panthers will be looking to respond on home ice when the teams meet Monday in Game 7.

Six Canadian teams have advanced to the final but failed to break the curse since the 1992-93 Habs hoisted the Cup. Four of those finals have gone the distance, including Edmonton’s seven-game loss to Carolina in 2006.

An Edmonton victory Monday will give the franchise its sixth Stanley Cup, but first since a Mark Messier-led team in 1990.

The Oilers enjoyed a dynasty in the 1980s when Gretzky led a talent-rich team to four Cups in five seasons.

The only team to win the Stanley Cup after falling into a 3-0 deficit is the 1941-42 Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Canadian Press