Vladimir Tarasenko and the Florida Panthers lost to the Edmonton Oilers in Game 6 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final on Friday. As a result, their season and their pride are on the line in Game 7 on Monday night. A win will see them raise the Stanley Cup for the first time in their franchise history. However, a loss would serve as an all-time embarrassment.

The Panthers traded for Tarasenko at the NHL Trade Deadline to aid their Stanley Cup push. That said, his past experience comes in rather handy in this scenario. Tarasenko did not blow a 3-0 series lead when he won the Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues in 2019. But he does have experience with Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final. And he revealed his advice to his teammates on Sunday following practice.

“Stay with the plan,” Tarasenko said Sunday, via NHL.com. “When the puck drops, you will be able to control your nerves. It’s the same game you played for many, many years. I think whoever can control their emotions better will have a better chance.”

Vladimir Tarasenko recalls Game 7 experience

Florida Panthers right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (10) controls the puck against the Edmonton Oilers during the third period in game four of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Place.
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Tarasenko spoke about his experience with the Blues in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. St. Louis had a chance to win the Cup on home ice over the Boston Bruins that year. However, Boston forced a Game 7 back at TD Garden. In fact, the Bruins dominated St. Louis to take Game 6 by a score of 5-1.

Boston entered Game 7 with a lot of momentum. But that momentum didn't translate into the on-ice product. St. Louis was in control of the final game of that series. And in the end, they won the game by a score of 4-1. The Blues scored twice in the first period, and Tarasenko picked up an assist on one of their four goals.

“To be honest, I slept better [before Game 7] than before Game 6,” the Panthers forward recalled of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, via NHL.com. “I think it’s pretty obvious since you were a little kid playing knee hockey, it’s Game 7 of the Final [you dream about]. Also, Game 6 there are a lot of options in your mind; Game 7, it’s one game and you just have to prepare yourself.”

Panthers embracing the moment

Overall, that's the message Vladimir Tarasenko wants to instill in his teammates. There is no more looking ahead or worrying about other outcomes. Win or lose, their season ends Monday night at Amerant Bank Arena. The Florida veteran hopes his teammates will embrace the moment and put in their best effort in Game 7.

“We still have another chance to win a Cup,” Tarasenko said, via NHL.com. “You have to fix what you have to fix and come in with a positive mindset and believe in the guy next to you. This maybe sounds pretty simple, but it is what it is.”

The Panthers know the magnitude of Game 7. And they are looking to avoid going down in infamy. Florida can become the second team in NHL history to blow a 3-0 series lead and lose a Stanley Cup Final. You have to go back to 1942 when this happened last. The Detroit Red Wings got out to a 3-0 series lead on the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, Toronto emerged victorious after completing the reverse sweep in Game 7.

It all comes down to Monday night. Will the Panthers overcome their brutal run of form as of late and win the Stanley Cup? Or will the Oilers complete the reverse sweep and bring the Stanley Cup to Canada for the first time since 1993? American fans can watch the game on ESPN and ABC with puck dropped scheduled for 8 PM Eastern Time.