Panthers GM Bill Zito Hurled Water Bottle in Frustration At End of Loss to Oilers

Jun 7, 2024; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Florida Panthers general manager Bill Zito speaks to reporters during media day in advance of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final at Amerant Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2024; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Florida Panthers general manager Bill Zito speaks to reporters during media day in advance of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final at Amerant Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Panthers general manager Bill Zito couldn't hide his frustration after his team's 5-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Tuesday night at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Fl that brought the series to 3-2 (Panthers).

Trailing by one goal with under two minutes remaining in the third period, the Panthers pulled goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky in a last-ditch effort to tie the game. However, Oilers star Connor McDavid, who had four points for a second consecutive game, scored the second of his two goals on the night in the empty net, effectively sealing the victory for Edmonton.

Moments after McDavid's goal, an angry Zito grabbed a water bottle and hurled in in frustration.

Zito has watched the Panthers' 3-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final evaporate, as Florida lost Game 4 8-1, then suffered Tuesday's loss.

To make matters worse, the Panthers have had no answers for McDavid, who is playing at a historically great level, and have been outscored 15-4 since the third period of Game 3.

Florida will need to start finding some answers for their own sake—and the sake of water bottles everywhere—when Game 6 begins on Friday night at 8 p.m. ET at Rogers Place.


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Tim Capurso

TIM CAPURSO

Tim Capurso is a staff writer on the Breaking and Trending News team at Sports Illustrated. Prior to joining SI in November 2023, he wrote for RotoBaller and ClutchPoints, where he was the lead editor for MLB, college football and NFL coverage. A lifelong Yankees and Giants fan, Capurso grew up just outside New York City and now lives near Philadelphia. When he's not writing, he enjoys reading, exercising and spending time with his family, including his three-legged cat Willow, who, unfortunately, is an Eagles fan.