SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers’ road to winning the Stanley Cup for the first time has suddenly become quite rocky and their special teams is one of the main seasons.

The Panthers were on the wrong end of that battle again with a chance to clinch their first championship, allowing a short-handed goal and two power-play goals in a 5-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final at Amerant Bank Arena on Tuesday.

So, a comfortable 3-0 lead in the best-of-7 series has been reduced to 3-2 and Florida must travel back to Edmonton for Game 6 at Rogers Arena on Friday (8 p.m.; ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS).

“Special teams have got to be better: power play and penalty kill,” Panthers forward Sam Bennett said. “But they won that battle tonight and just regroup and be a little better.”

Edmonton is just the fourth team to force a Game 6 after falling behind 3-0 in a best-of-7 Cup Final and is trying to join 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs (against the Detroit Red Wings) to overcome such a deficit to win the Cup. Of the 28 previous teams that had a 3-0 lead in a best-of-7 Cup Final, 27 went on to win the Cup.

Florida still can rebound and do that but will need to eliminate the mistakes it’s been making on special teams.

The Panthers began Game 5 the same way they started their 8-1 loss in Game 4 on Saturday, giving up an early short-handed goal to fall behind 1-0. Connor Brown set up Mattias Janmark’s short-handed goal that opened the scoring 3:11 into Game 4. He took it solo this time, picking off Brandon Montour’s ill-advised pass across the top of Edmonton’s zone and lifting a backhand past Sergei Bobrovsky’s right pad on the resulting breakaway at 5:30 of the first period.

“It was a similar start to Game 4 with giving up the shorty there, which is just unacceptable,” Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk said. “We've got to start better. I thought our start was good, but we just gave one up and then we were trailing.”

The Panthers are 1-for-16 on the power play in the series with two short-handed goals against. Evan Rodrigues scored their lone power-play goal in the Cup Final in the third period of their 4-1 win in Game 2 and now it’s starting to cost them goals.

Panthers coach Paul Maurice acknowledged, “That’s got to stop,” but declined to go into the specifics of how.

“That's an excellent question, truly,” Maurice said. “And we'll fix it. That's how I feel about it. We can fix it.”

Breaking down Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals

Florida was able to survive its struggling power play in the first three games of the series because its penalty kill was able to hold Edmonton’s high-octane power play in check. But it’s become a bigger problem now that the Oilers power play has come to come to life.

Edmonton converted on 19 of 51 power-play opportunities for an NHL-best 37.3 percent efficiency through the first three rounds of the playoffs but was 0-for-10 in the first three games of the Cup Final. Its man-advantage drought reached 12 before Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ 5-on-3 goal at 13:03 of the second period of Game 4.

That goal seemed to give the Oilers some confidence on the power play going into Game 5. After the Oilers first power play was cut short after 1:03 by a Nugent-Hopkins hooking penalty in first period, they made full use of their second power play to begin the second period.

There were only two seconds left in Niko Mikkola’s interference penalty when Evan Bouchard’s center point shot deflected in off Oilers forward Zach Hyman in front to make it 2-0 at 1:58 of the second period. There were only eight seconds left on Kyle Okposo’s hooking penalty when Corey Perry converted a pass from Connor McDavid for another power-play goal that increased Edmonton’s lead to 4-1 at 11:54 of the second.

McDavid did most of the work on that one, appearing to catch the Panthers napping near the end of the power play with a dazzling 1-on-4 rush before passing to Perry on his right for the finish.

“We just got caught late,” Maurice said. “I think we can clean some of that up with keeping our energy a little higher, go a little shorter.”

The Panthers pushed back after that with goals from Rodrigues and Oliver Ekman-Larsson to get within 4-3 before McDavid’s completed his second consecutive four-point game (two goals, two assists) with a clinching empty-net goal at 19:41.

Perry’s power-play goal turned out to be the game-winner. Edmonton finished the game 2-for-5 with the man-advantage.

“I think we had been good, still battling, having good sticks,” Ekman-Larsson said of the Panthers penalty kill. “We just have to keep battling, keep doing what we do. Obviously, we believe in our kill. It’s been good all year.”

Florida outscored Edmonton 3-1 at 5-on-5, but was outscored 3-0 on special teams, which turned out to be the difference in the game.

“They put the puck in the net when they had their chances,” Tkachuk said. “We had a good push. Thought 5-on-5 (we) played really well tonight. That's something to build off of for next game. Obviously, we want to keep it 5-on-5. We want to stay out of the box. If we do get a power play, capitalize on it, but try to keep it 5-on-5 as much as possible.”

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