2024 Stanley Cup Final: Evan Rodrigues scores two goals as Panthers defeat Oilers in Game 2

The Florida Panthers have secured a 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final. On Monday, veteran forward Evan Rodrigues tallied the go-ahead goal early in the third period to lead the Panthers to a 4-1 win against the visiting Edmonton Oilers in Game 2.

Just 3:11 into the third period, Rodrigues sent a scorching shot on net that got past the blocker of Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner. He had initially turned the puck over in the offensive zone, but Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard gave the puck right back to Rodrigues to make the goal possible.

Rodrigues ended up adding an insurance goal at the 12:26 mark of the third period. He was able to deflect a pass from forward Anton Lundell into the net to extend Florida's lead to 3-1.

Rodrigues has tallied goals in back-to-back games to start off the Stanley Cup Final. The 30-year old signed a four-year, $12 million contract with Florida in the offseason after spending the 2022-23 campaign with the Colorado Avalanche, and has proved to be a massive acquisition for the Panthers thus far.

Despite being severely outshot in the first period, the Oilers managed to get on the scoreboard first. 

In a four-on-four scenario, Edmonton star Connor McDavid got the odd-man rush started in his own zone and defenseman Mattias Ekholm found himself leading a three-on-one in the offensive zone. Ekholm elected to keep the puck himself, and ripped a shot that Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky couldn't stop from going through his five-hole.

For the second consecutive game, the game's first goal came on a team's first shot on goal.

Midway through the second period, the Panthers tied the game with a goal coming courtesy of their blue line. Panthers defenseman Niko Mikkola was able to beat Skinner's glove hand off of a stellar drop pass from teammate Anton Lundell to tie the game at 1.

Entering Game 2, Mikkola had registered just a goal and two assists during the postseason, and hadn't scored since Game 5 of the Florida's opening-round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

As has been a theme throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Bobrovsky proved to be strong in the crease yet again. The Panthers goalie stopped 18 of the 19 shots that he faced, and has surrendered only one goal in the first two games of the series.

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Final: Panthers 4, Oilers 1

The Panthers were able to outlast the Oilers to win Game 2 by a 4-1 decision. The game was tied at 1-1 entering the third period before veteran forward Evan Rodrigues scored the go-ahead goal at the 3:11 mark of the final period. Rodrigues also deflected an Anton Lundell pass past Stuart Skinner to give the Panthers an insurance tally. Rodrigues has began the Stanley Cup Final with goals in back-to-back games. Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 18 of the 19 shots he faced in another strong performance in between the pipes.

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