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It’s crunch time for Edmonton Oilers in Stanley Cup final

Captain Connor McDavid stated the mission and the Edmonton Oilers completed it: they dragged the Florida Panthers back to Alberta for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final.

Regardless of the outcome, Friday’s game will be the last at Rogers Place this season. Lord Stanley’s mug will be in the building — but Oilers Nation hopes it won’t make an appearance until Monday in Sunrise, Fla.

“Oilers in seven,” Jerry MacLachlan said Thursday, sporting a No. 97 McDavid home jersey.

“Game 6 is going to be on another level.”

After dropping the first three games of the best-of-seven series, the Oilers have twice fended off the Panthers from hoisting the Stanley Cup for the first time.

Edmonton is the fourth team in NHL history to fall 3-0 in the final and force a Game 6, but only the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs ever completed the comeback.

Oilers fanatic Aaliyah Calliou recalls that this team had several three-game skids during the regular season and responded with lengthy win streaks afterward, including a 16-game heater that lifted Edmonton out of the NHL basement.

“I have high hopes. They’ve been really successful all season,” Calliou said.

“They have a chance.”

Meanwhile, in the Oilers’ locker room, it’s business as usual.

“This has always been part of the plan for our group to be in a position like this, playing in big games at home, in big moments,” McDavid told reporters Thursday. “[It’s] just another one tomorrow night.”

The team has reveled in tackling adversity throughout the season, and is grateful for any opportunity it has to play together, said head coach Kris Knoblauch.

“We feel very fortunate to be in this Game 6 situation. But I’ve got a team full of guys who are hungry to make sure they get to play two more games and not just one,” Knoblauch said.

Puck drop for Game 6 is scheduled for 6 p.m. MT Friday. CBC will broadcast the game.

CBC Edmonton will share the excitement on its TikTok channel, @cbcedmonton.

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Viewers can also join CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM co-host Mark Connolly live on the CBC Alberta YouTube channel. He will be behind-the-scenes inside Rogers Place and amid the energy outside the arena in Ice District.

Before the game, Loud Luxury and The Beaches will perform at a free concert in the fan park outside Rogers Place. Gates open at 2:30 p.m. MT; performances start at 4 p.m. MT.

Game 7, if necessary, will be Monday in Florida.

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