(Sunrise) About midway through the third period, someone threw a plastic rodent at Leon Draisaitl’s feet, and it perfectly summed up Monday night at Sunrise and Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.

We expected a big performance from the Oilers, but instead, this team gave birth to a mouse, and then this explains that, and then this explains the final score, 4-1 in favor of the Panthers Florida, who now have a nice 2-0 lead in this series.

This time, it wasn’t goalie Sergei Bobrovsky who was the hero – he looked bad on the Oilers’ only goal – but the entire club, which stifled the visiting team for almost 60 minutes.

Despite all that, it was very quiet in the winners’ locker room.

“We just try to play the same way,” explained forward Matthew Tkachuk. We’re not trying to do something different or close the game. We just want to play with intensity, we want to come with a style of play that’s in your face, we want to control the space, we want to present a style game which is simple, you want to be on the move and hit the opponent. We did all that very well this evening. »

All of that is very true, and it pretty much explains the current situation. In the visitors’ locker room, Connor McDavid tried to keep a cool head, while playing the underdog card, if such a thing is possible. “I’m looking forward to people starting to doubt us,” he said of the two-game series deficit.

There will be doubts. Coming out of the gate, the Oilers’ power play is completely off — 0 for 7 since the start of the final, and just one shot in the first three chances at five-on-four Monday night — and then the Alberta club is going to have to shoot a lot more than that. The Oilers had just 19 shots in Game 2, including seven in the first 40 minutes of play.

To add to all that, they lost a player, Warren Foegele, who was ejected from the match for his knee against Eetu Luostarinen. Darnell Nurse played on one leg, basically, and in the end, Leon Draisaitl hit Aleksander Barkov with a solid hit to the head. The Panthers player did not return, and coach Paul Maurice was not able to give more details on this subject.

Also, another bit not easy to digest for the Oilers: only one goal in two games since the start of this final. Of course, that won’t be enough.

“We did everything except score,” Draisaitl replied. “We can probably be better, and it starts with me. We have to give more and we can play better than that.

“I can probably contribute more myself…it wasn’t my best game. We’re going to have to regroup and be better in game three. It’s not the best situation for us, but we’re going to have to find a way. »

Coach Kris Knoblauch preferred to see the glass half full. “We hit three posts and if we score on that, it’s another story… I’m not going to dwell on these first two games. We just have to go win the next one. »

Said like that, it seems quite simple, but on the ice, it seems a lot less simple. The Oilers spent the evening not having the puck, and when they did, they often gave it to the guys in red, like Evan Bouchard, who passed it directly to the paddle of another Evan, Rodrigues this one. there, at the start of the third. This was the winning goal. “The identity of the one who scores is not really something important,” said the Panthers striker. We are looking for victories here. »

As the final siren sounded, the Oilers slowly left the ice as a rain of plastic rodents descended on them. It was not a pleasant experience, you could tell.

“It’s not ideal,” admitted Zach Hyman about this result. But we have two games at home, and we have to know how to do the work at home. That’s what they just did here, and now it’s up to us to go back to Edmonton and win these two games. It has to start with the first. »

The third match of this final will take place Thursday evening. At least in Edmonton there won’t be any plastic rats.