Mikkola scores twice as Panthers overcome 2-goal night from McDavid to rally past Oilers 5-3


Connor McDavid nets two goals against Panthers

Connor McDavid manages to find the back of the net twice despite the loss against the Florida Panthers.

SUNRISE, Fla. -- — Niko Mikkola had the first two-goal game of his career, Kevin Stenlund had a three-point effort and the Florida Panthers rallied to defeat Edmonton Oilers 5-3 on Monday night.

Stenlund had a goal and two assists for the Panthers, who have won six consecutive games at home and are 7-1-0 in their last eight games. Carter Verhaeghe and Sam Bennett also scored for Florida, and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 26 shots.

Connor McDavid scored twice for the Oilers. Evander Kane also scored for Edmonton, and Calvin Pickard — making his first start since March 27, 2022 — stopped 27 shots.

Edmonton jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by McDavid and Kane. Verhaeghe and Mikkola tied it up for Florida, and McDavid scored on a penalty shot 5 minutes into the second period for a 3-2 lead.

It was the 52nd multigoal game of McDavid’s career and his first of the season. He was due for a breakout; the four goals he had entering Monday night represented the fewest he’d had through 14 games played to start any of his nine NHL seasons.

He was also due for a big game at Florida — McDavid entered Monday with only one goal in five appearances on the Panthers’ home ice.

But Mikkola tied it up for a second time just 1:08 after the penalty shot, and Stenlund put the Panthers up for good with 6:18 left in the second.

Mikkola had two goals, total, in his 148 games played including playoffs entering Monday — spanning 2,559 minutes of ice time for the Finnish defenseman.

It was Florida's second successful rally from a two-goal deficit this season, after coming from 2-0 down to top Seattle 3-2 on Oct. 28. Edmonton wasted a two-goal lead for third time this season and the second in as many games; the Oilers blew a 2-0 lead in what became a 6-4 loss Saturday at Tampa Bay.

The Panthers improved to 10-0-0 when leading with 5 minutes left in regulation. Bennett sealed it with an empty-netter with 42.6 seconds remaining.

Florida was without captain Aleksander Barkov, who is listed as day-to-day. He took a knee-to-knee hit in Florida's win at Anaheim on Friday, and tests over the weekend showed he avoided serious injury.


Oilers: Visit Carolina on Wednesday.

Panthers: Host Boston on Wednesday.


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