Edmonton defenseman Evan Bouchard grabs Florida’s Ryan Lomberg (94) during the third period Monday night in Sunrise, Fla. Marta Lavandier/Associated Press

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 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.



LIGHTNING: Cole Koepke was en route to a minor league game with Syracuse of the AHL when he heard from a friend that Adam Johnson had been cut by a skate blade during a game in Britain.

After the game last month, the Tampa Bay Lightning left wing found out the fellow University of Minnesota-Duluth product had died.

“I actually knew Adam,” Koepke said after Tampa Bay’s morning skate before Monday night’s game against the Boston Bruins. “A lot to take in … boom. Shock. Just terrible.”

The death of the 29-year-old former Pittsburgh Penguins player has not only forced the sport to re-examine safety regulations but prompted Koepke to the wear a turtleneck-style neck guard.

“It was pretty easy,” Koepke said of the decision. “You don’t think it will happen to anyone, yet alone someone you know. How it affected so many people just being from the same area. Seeing the impact of it and everything, it just makes sense.

“It doesn’t bother me to wear the neck guard, so I don’t see a reason not to wear it. It just seems like the right thing to do.”

Koepke is the first Lightning player to utilize the equipment. The NHL does not mandate its use.

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