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Panthers getting ready for Connor McDavid, Oilers after learning their Stanley Cup Final opponent

FORT LAUDERDALE — There is no need for an extended wait-and-see period for the Panthers.

A night after clinching their spot in their second consecutive Stanley Cup Final, the Panthers learned their opponent.

The Edmonton Oilers beat Dallas in the Western Conference finals on Monday, earning the right to face Florida with the Stanley Cup on the line.

The Panthers and Oilers are uncommon foes. They played twice this season, with Florida winning both games: 5-3 at home in November and 5-1 on the road in December. Although it has been months since he last saw Edmonton, Florida coach Paul Maurice said the team can game plan for the Oilers in similar ways to other teams they have seen more frequently.

“Part of it is you relate it to what you’ve learned,” Maurice said. “So we’ll take the Edmonton Oilers’ game and try to attach it to other teams that we’ve played. They run the same D-zone, if they’re trapping 1-3-1 — whatever it is that they do, we’ve seen it before, and we have plan for that. We’ll just try to draw those connections with our players.”

The Oilers, who once boasted the likes of Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier, are back in the Final for the first time since 2006. Once again, they have one of the NHL’s premier stars. This time it is 27-year-old center Connor McDavid.

McDavid already has 335 NHL goals, 982 points, five Art Ross Trophies (for being the league’s top point-scorer) and three Hart Memorial Trophies (given to the league MVP) under his belt. What he is missing is a Stanley Cup.

The Panthers know McDavid, who has five goals and a league-leading 31 points in the postseason, will be their toughest test this postseason.

“Obviously, it’s going to be a challenge,” Panthers forward Carter Verhaeghe said. “They have some pretty special players over there. You’ve got to embrace it. Any time you go against some of the best players in the world, it’s always fun and challenging.”

But McDavid is not the only star Florida has to deal with. Center Leon Draisaitl is second in the league with 28 playoff points. Winger Zach Hyman has the most playoff goals (14), followed by Draisaitl with 10.

“With those guys, especially, each series has specific players that we kind of key in, but two of the best payers in the world,” Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour said. “(McDavid and Draisaitl have) shown it their whole career. Those are two players that not necessarily you can shut down, but you can limit, and you’ve got to make it tough on them. You could see every team plays against these guys, they try to find a gameplan to stop them, and they obviously find their ways with how talented they are.”

Edmonton’s offense was second in the league with 3.5 goals per game, making this cup final a compelling matchup. Florida was third in the league with a 2.29 goals against average during the regular season.

“The interesting thing is they’re way better of a defensive team; their defensive analytics are almost as good as ours,” Maurice said. “We’re a way better offensive team than people know, as well. So it’s both sides of the puck. You have to defend against the whole group: active back end, clearly the superstars up front. We have some really good players, too, so it’s both sides of the puck, equally weighted. We play an aggressive defensive game when we don’t have the puck, and I think we attack pretty smartly when we do. I feel the same way about their game.”