Offense and shots were at a premium in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. The teams combined for just 10 shots, though they hit the room tied 1-1. However, Florida Panthers power forward Matthew Tkachuk went to the room midway through the first period after a rude meeting with heavy Vegas Golden Knights forward Keegan Kolesar.
Florida had a great start to the first period and scored the usually important first goal.
Yet, they were worse for wear. Tkachuk, who has carried the team for large parts of their march to the Stanley Cup Final, and received significant talk for the Conn Smythe Trophy, didn’t finish the period after Kolesar’s thundering hit near the Panthers’ blue line.
A real-time replay of the hit by Kolesar on Tkachuk.
Tkachuk went to the Panthers’ locker room shortly after the hit, and hasn’t returned since. pic.twitter.com/9E1f9AOeaG
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) June 9, 2023
Tkachuk played one more shift but left the bench afterward and went to the locker room. No immediate explanation was available. Kolesar’s hit was clean, and no penalty was called.
Brandon Montour scored for the Panthers just four minutes into the game. Later in the first period, Golden Knights captain Mark Stone scored a 4v3 power-play goal.
In the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final, Tkachuk had one goal and three 10-minute misconduct penalties.
UPDATE: Tkachuk returned to the ice at 4:26 of the second period.