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Evan Rodrigues’ two goals lead Panthers to 2-0 series lead over Oilers in Stanley Cup Final

SUNRISE — Evan Rodrigues never played in a Stanley Cup Final before Saturday night. On Monday, he had a game that will live on in Florida Panthers lore.

The second-line winger, who also scored a goal in Game 1, scored the game-winning goal and an insurance goal as the Panthers rolled to a 4-1 win over the Oilers at Amerant Bank Arena, taking a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final as the series moves to Edmonton for Games 3 and 4.

The Panthers’ defense was stingy throughout the night, allowing 19 shots on goal from the Oilers’ high-powered offense. Sam Bennett went to the penalty box in the first half of the first period, but the Panthers’ penalty kill stepped up. The vaunted Oilers power play — which scored on 25 percent of man advantages in the postseason — did not manage a single shot against Florida’s defense.

With 10:39 left in the first period, Oilers winger Warren Foegele hit Panthers winger Eetu Luostarinen with his knee. He was given a game misconduct penalty and ejected, costing his team a five-minute major penalty. Luostarinen stayed down on the ice for a moment and went to the locker room but returned later in the period.

However, Edmonton did get on the board first. Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson cost his team during the power play, getting sent off the ice for tripping. With the teams playing four-on-four, Mattias Ekholm put the Oilers up 1-0 19 seconds after the Ekman-Larrson penalty.

After a slow start to the second period, the Panthers equalized about halfway through. After an errant back pass from Niko Mikkola slid past Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, the defenseman made amends with a wrist shot he fired past Edmonton goalie Stuart Skinner, tying the game at one.

The teams stayed knotted at one through the end of the second period until  Rodrigues broke the tie with a shot past Skinner from the point to put Florida up 2-1 3:11 into the third period.

The Oilers took Skinner out of the game with about five minutes left in the third period, trying to equalize the game with an extra skater, but the Panthers added a goal from Aaron Ekblad to seal the win.

Florida will play Edmonton in Game 3 on Thursday at 8 p.m.

This story will be updated.

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