Mikkola goal celebration for Honor Roll

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Who played well in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final? Sometimes it’s easy to tell, sometimes it isn’t. NHL.com graded the players in the 4-1 win by the Florida Panthers against the Edmonton Oilers at Amerant Bank Arena on Monday. Here are the players that stood out the most.

Honor roll

Evan Rodrigues (Florida Panthers): The forward scored two goals, both in the third period. The first proved to be the game-winner; the second, which came on the power play, added some insurance. Rodrigues is on a roll, with four points (three goals, one assist) in his past three games.

Niko Mikkola (Florida Panthers): It was an interesting shift for the defenseman, who just about scored an own goal on Sergei Bobrovsky before coming down the other end and scorching an Anton Lundell pass to tie the game 1-1 at 9:34 of the second period. It’s how you end it that counts, right?

Anton Lundell (Florida Panthers): The center had the primary assist on Mikkola’s goal as well as Rodrigues’ second. He had one shot on goal and was 7-for-12 on face-offs.

Mattias Ekholm (Edmonton Oilers): The Oilers had zero shots on goal when the defenseman scored a 4-on-4 goal off a pass from captain Connor McDavid at 11:17 of the first period for a 1-0 lead. Ekholm had three shots on goal, a game-high five blocked shots and two hits in 24:54 of ice time.

Matthew Tkachuk (Florida Panthers): The forward had four shots on goal, tied for the Panthers lead with defenseman Aaron Ekblad. He also had four hits and blocked a shot.

Stock watch

Panthers penalty kill: ⬆️ There’s no lengthy streak here, but Florida did a good job of containing Edmonton, which had one shot over its four power plays.

Edmonton offense: ⬇️ In Game 1, Bobrovsky thwarted the Oilers. In Game 2, the Oilers just weren’t generating much on their own. They were especially quiet through the first two periods, when they had seven shots on goal.

Oilers penalty kill: ⬆️ OK, it got dinged in the third period, but still, their kill is outstanding. Edmonton was 4-for-4 on the kill in Game 2 before Rodrigues scored on Florida’s power play midway through the third.

Oilers health: ⬇️ Forward Evander Kane is playing although he’s admittedly injured, but once again wasn’t the impactful player he can be when healthy. Then they lost defenseman Darnell Nurse in the first period after he was hit by Rodrigues. Nurse played three shifts over the final two periods.

Panthers confidence: ⬆️ And why wouldn’t it be? Florida is up 2-0 in the best-of-7 series after stifling the Oilers on their home ice. Now they’ll hit the road, where they’re 6-2 this postseason.

SCF, Gm2: Oilers @ Panthers Recap

What we learned

Panthers spreading the wealth

Neither Aleksander Barkov nor Tkachuk, who are tied for the Panthers postseason lead with 19 points each, have a goal through the first two games of this series. Doesn’t matter. The Panthers have scored seven goals over the two games with a variety of players, some not surprising (Carter Verhaeghe), some unexpected (Mikkola).

Oilers must clean things up

McDavid said after Game 1 that “we have levels to go up.” He cited the Oilers needing to be better in various areas, including being cleaner with the puck and getting more finish around the net. It’s been an uncharacteristically quiet two games for an otherwise potent offense.

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