Panthers Hand Oilers First Home Loss

EDMONTON — Brian Boyle and Jayce Hawryluk each had a goal and an assist, and the Florida Panthers scored three goals in just over two minutes to open the second period in a 6-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday.

Aaron Ekblad, Noel Acciari, Evgenii Dadonov and Frank Vatrano also scored for the Panthers (5-2-4), who have earned at least a point in eight straight games.

James Neal and Leon Draisaitl responded for the Oilers (8-3-1), who have lost three of their last four games while dropping to 5-1-0 on home ice. 

There was no scoring in the first period. The Panthers put nine shots on Oilers goalie Mike Smith as Edmonton sent seven shots on Florida starter Sergei Bobrovsky.

The Panthers broke the deadlock 31 seconds into the second period as Aleksander Barkov dropped it back to Ekblad, who beat Smith glove side for his first goal of the season.

Florida added to its lead just over a minute later when a defensive miscue led to Boyle waiting for Smith to commit before sending the puck into the net.

The Panthers continued their assault and scored their third goal on three shots within a span of 2:05 when another turnover led to Acciari’s fourth goal of the season.

Noel Acciari Florida Panthers
Noel Acciari, Florida Panthers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Smith was replaced in net by Mikko Koskinen after Acciari’s goal.

Florida made it 4-0 just 49 seconds into the third period on a nice wraparound by Dadonov, who sent his sixth through Koskinen’s legs.

Edmonton finally got on the board with a power-play marker three-and-a-half minutes into the third frame as Neal tipped home his 10th goal of the season and seventh with the man advantage.

The Oilers cut the lead in half with just under seven minutes to play when Draisaitl celebrated his 24th birthday by slamming home a rebound for his ninth of the year.

Florida put the game away on an empty-net goal by Vatrano, and then got another one with 20 seconds left on a rifle of a shot by Hawryluk with Koskinen back in goal.

The Panthers play the third game of a four-game trip in Vancouver on Monday. The Oilers embark on a three-game road swing, starting in Detroit on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2019.

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press