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Ice Hockey: Florida Panthers win Stanley Cup after beating Edmonton Oilers in thrilling series

Florida Panthers won their first Stanley Cup as they clung on to beat the history-chasing Edmonton Oilers in a deciding game seven.

The Panthers had let slip a 3-0 series lead but they got over the line with a 2-1 victory on home ice on Monday night thanks to goals from Carter Verhaeghe and Sam Reinhart.

Only one team had ever come from 3-0 down to lift the Stanley Cup – the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1942.

Florida head coach Paul Maurice told the NHL’s website: “The story gets written differently if we don’t win, but under the most pressure they found the courage to play with some freedom, to make plays, to move the puck.

“They get to say, ‘In game seven of the Stanley Cup final, I was at my best.'”

A victory for Edmonton would have seen them become the first Canadian team to win the NHL’s biggest prize since 1993.

But despite Mattias Janmark’s first-period equaliser, they fell just short of winning their first championship since 1990.

Edmonton captain Connor McDavid won the Conn Smythe Trophy – an award given to the ‘most valuable player’ in the play-offs.

He is the first player on the losing side to win the award since 1976.

McDavid said: “We knew it was going to be a real tight game and it was going to come down to one thing here or there.

“It’s tough. They do a good job of shutting things down and we had our looks. We just didn’t find it.”

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