After defeating the Stars 2-1 to win the West, the Oilers will face Florida in the Stanley Cup Final.

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Stuart Skinner made 34 saves for his local team, and the Oilers defeated the Dallas Stars 2-1 on Sunday night to conclude an incredible run to the Stanley Cup Final. Connor McDavid opened the scoring and provided an assist for Edmonton.

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The Oilers won the Western Conference in six games and will attempt to win the Cup for the first time since 2006 thanks to goals from Zach Hyman and Evan Bouchard on first-period power plays.

They are traveling to Florida in anticipation of Saturday night’s Stanley Cup Final Game 1. After losing to Vegas in five games last year and being swept by Colorado in 1996, the Panthers are participating in their third title series.

With eight saves from Jake Oettinger and a goal from Mason Marchment midway through the third period, the Stars concluded the regular season with the second-best record in the NHL (113 points), only one point behind the New York Rangers in the Presidents’ Trophy race.

However, the Stars and Rangers each let a 2-1 lead in the conference finals slip away. After the Stars managed four goals in total over the next three games, Dallas took the series lead with five goals in Game 3.

With roughly 2:20 remaining, Oettinger took the bench, and the Stars managed just two shots the remainder of the way, failing in their frantic attempts to extend the series and tie the game.

Edmonton accomplished something very remarkable just by reaching it to the Cup final, considering the team finished the regular season 10 points outside of a postseason berth. The Oilers were 5-12-1 going into games on November 24, 10 points behind Seattle and St. Louis for the final wild-card place in the West and 19 points behind Vegas for the top conference spot.

Now, those times are long forgotten.

Around that time, the Oilers started their eight-game winning streak and started their arduous ascent out of the NHL’s cellar, just a few weeks after Kris Knoblauch replaced Jay Woodcroft as coach after the team lost 3-9-1 in their opening game.

The Oilers were the greatest team in the NHL for the whole of the regular season after going on an eight-game winning streak, which ended shortly after with a 16-game winning streak. For the remaining games, they were 44-15-5, and during that time, they led the league in both goals scored (239) and goal differential (plus-76).

Finally, the end is in sight.

Only two teams in NHL history—Toronto in 1958–59 and St. Louis in 2018–19—have advanced to the final despite trailing by 10 points or more from a postseason berth. Edmonton is the third team to do so. That season, the Blues took home the Cup.

In Game 6, the Oilers managed just three shots in the opening frame. They sufficed.

With a brilliant goal that beat Oettinger high after he dribbled through traffic, McDavid gave the game the lead. Later in the first quarter, he found Hyman in the slot for another power play goal; the score was 2-0 Edmonton and the Oilers were in the lead, despite Dallas having 6-3 shots at that time.

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