The Florida Panthers secured a 4-3 victory against the Edmonton Oilers in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final on Thursday night. With this win, Sam Bennett and the Panthers are on the verge of claiming their first franchise title, with Game 4 set for Saturday night in Edmonton.

Bennett emphasized the team's determination and desire to win from the very beginning of the game.

“Everyone down to our goalie were battling their butts off. It was nice to see the effort. You either have it, or you don’t. We have 23 dogs on our team that have that will. You either have it, or you don’t.” via ABC’s Emily Kaplan.

History on the side of the Florida Panthers

Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett (9) between play against the Edmonton Oilers during the third period in game one of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final at Amerant Bank Arena.
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Teams that have taken a 3-0 series lead in NHL playoff history have an overwhelmingly high success rate of 98.1%, with a record of 206-4. This trend extends to the Final specifically, where teams holding a 3-0 lead are 27-1 all-time. The lone exception to this remarkable statistic occurred back in 1942 when the Detroit Red Wings experienced a tragic reversal of fortune.

Aleksander Barkov was the standout performer on offense for the Panthers, contributing with both a goal and an assist. Meanwhile, Sergei Bobrovsky continued his impressive form in goal, making 32 saves to further solidify his recent run of outstanding performances.

The Panthers moved closer to claiming the Stanley Cup by capitalizing on several Edmonton turnovers and effectively neutralizing Connor McDavid's scoring threat. Although the Oilers staged a late comeback, closing the gap to just one goal, the Panthers relied on Bobrovsky's stellar performance.

His highlight-reel save on Ryan McLeod in the closing minutes secured the crucial win for Florida.

Sweep or no sweep for the Stanley Cup Final?

Following Florida's 4-3 triumph in Game 3 on Thursday, the remaining question in this Final revolves around whether it will culminate in a sweep during Game 4 back in Edmonton on Saturday—an event not seen since 1998.

Alternatively, Panthers supporters may witness the historic first lifting of the Cup in franchise history during Game 5 on Tuesday in their home arena, adding a thrilling dimension to the series.

Until this year's series, Canadian teams had only managed one victory in the final since Montreal's win in 1993, which occurred just before the Panthers' inaugural season.

Holding off the Edmonton Oilers

The Panthers held off Edmonton's third-period comeback attempt, securing a 3-0 lead in the best-of-7 series. Bennett and Vladimir Tarasenko also contributed goals for the Panthers, who are the reigning back-to-back Eastern Conference champions.

Connor McDavid added two assists to his series tally for the Oilers, bringing his total to three. Warren Foegele, Philip Broberg, and Ryan McLeod scored for the Oilers. Broberg and McLeod's goals, occurring 8:41 apart in the third period, narrowed Florida's lead from 4-1 to 4-3. Stuart Skinner recorded 19 saves in the game.

Torrential rain hit South Florida on Wednesday, leading to widespread flooding and major travel disruptions. Among those affected were the Panthers, whose charter flight to Edmonton was delayed by several hours due to the weather conditions.

Fans and media kept a close watch on the flight's progress online, eagerly anticipating its arrival time in Edmonton. Eventually, the flight landed in the 8 p.m. hour local time, roughly two hours after the team's scheduled interviews at the Edmonton Oilers' arena.

The Panthers are gearing up for Game 4 against the Oilers at Rogers Place on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, aiming to clinch a rare sweep in the Stanley Cup Final.