Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final could be the final stand of the underdog Florida Panthers. The Vegas Golden Knights have scored and scored again on goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and withstood each Panthers’ push. The Golden Knights have excelled in finishing their chances and controlling the puck in scoring areas.
However, a team isn’t in trouble until they lose on home ice, and Florida gets its first chance at home cooking Thursday at FLA Live Arena. The puck drops just after 5 p.m. PT.
Get the Golden Knights Game 2 recap here.
The Golden Knights scored 12 goals over the first two games and lead the final series 2-0. They won Game 2 convincingly, 7-2. One more win puts Florida in a nearly impossible situation.
And the Golden Knights know it.
“We know we have them,” said Jonathan Marchessault after Game 2.
They blew a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Final to the Dallas Stars before ending Dallas in Game 6. In talking to the players, VHN can confidently report the VGK learned a valuable lesson and will not repeat such a mistake.
However, Florida has generated significant offensive chances only to see the legend of goalie Adin Hill grow with each marvelous save.
Marchessault has 10 goals in nine games. The Golden Knights are rolling four lines, and all are contributing. The blue line, especially Nic Hague and Zach Whitecloud, has largely kept Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Bennett away from the Golden Knights net.
And everything looked like it was according to the Golden Knights’ script.
Florida coach Paul Maurice will return Bobrovksy to the net after pulling him in the second period of Game 2. After dominating with wins in 11 of 12 games, the Golden Knights scored eight goals on “Bob” in just over four periods.
Barring a meteor strike or act of God, Adin Hill starts for the Vegas Golden Knights.
Expected Golden Knights Lines:
Expected Florida Panthers Lines:
Golden Knights Power Play: 21.5%, 9th
Golden Knights Penalty Kill: 67.9%, 14th
Panthers Power Play: 24.0%, 7th
Panthers Power Play: 69.8%, 13th
Vegas Golden Knights Game Notes:
The Golden Knights have scored 12 goals through the first two games of the 2023 Stanley Cup Final, tied for the most by any team through Game 2 of the championship series and most in 30 years.
Michael Amadio’s goal in the second period of Game 2 made him the Golden Knights’ ninth different goal scorer of the series, the most by any team in NHL history through the first two games of a Final.
Fifteen of 18 skaters VGK skaters have scored in the Final.
The Golden Knights have a power-play goal in three straight games for the first time since Dec. 21-27, 2022.
Game 2 was the fifth time in 12 games that the Golden Knights chased their opponent’s starting goaltender.
Eight of the Golden Knights’ past 13 goals have been scored by original Misfits: William Karlsson (2G), Jonathan Marchessault (4G), William Carrier, and Shea Theodore.
How to Watch the Stanley Cup Final:
Radio: Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340. AM Deportes 1460 AM