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Panthers hold on late to take 3-0 series lead

Andy Devlin / National Hockey League / Getty

The Florida Panthers moved one win away from capturing the Stanley Cup with a 4-3 victory in Thursday's Game 3 against the Edmonton Oilers.

The Panthers surged in the second period with goals from Vladimir Tarasenko, Sam Bennett, and Aleksander Barkov in a 6:19 span.

Philip Broberg and Ryan McLeod scored in the third period as Edmonton's comeback bid fell short.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 32 saves and allowed more than two goals for the first time since Game 3 of the conference finals versus the New York Rangers. Stuart Skinner stopped 19 shots.

Bobrovsky's most important stop came late in the contest when he denied McLeod of the tying goal from point-blank range.

"They're a very skillful offensive team," Bobrovsky told theScore's Jolene Latimer postgame. "They're smart guys, and they're going make plays. It's just (about focusing) on each and every moment. It's a fun challenge to play against them because they bring (their) best and they make smart plays."

Panthers captain Barkov understands the series is far from over.

"We know (Game 4) is gonna be the hardest game, for sure," Barkov said. "Obviously, we don't take anything for granted. Every single day is one day at a time, one thing at a time. Whether it's one period, one shift, we take it one at a time. That's how we've been the whole year."

Florida hasn't won the Stanley Cup in its 30-season history.

Oilers star Leon Draisaitl remains without a point in the final. He had 10 goals and 28 points in 18 playoff contests entering the series.

"It's very frustrating, of course," Draisaitl said. "I pride myself on being good in the playoffs and playing well. Just can't seem to get anything going. Obviously, have to look in the mirror and try to be better."

The last sweep in a Stanley Cup Final was in 1998 when the Detroit Red Wings dispatched the Washington Capitals.

Game 4 is Saturday in Edmonton at 8 p.m. ET.

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