SUNRISE, FLA — It’s a huge swing. The Vegas Golden Knights will be tied 2-2 or up 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Final. They will be in for war or have a chance to win the Stanley Cup on home ice. Neither team has yet to lose on home ice, and the plots and subplots are building for Game 4 at FLA Live Arena.
The puck drops after 5 p.m. PT.
The Golden Knights were achingly close to a 3-0 series lead. They led 2-1 in the final minutes but allowed a goal after Florida pulled the goalie for an extra attacker. Unsurprisingly, Matthew Tkachuk scored the tying goal on a rebound chance.
Carter Verhaeghe ripped the winner midway through the first OT period, and the series changed in the blink of an eye.
The Golden Knights scored a pair of power-play goals, and the team feels they’ve figured out the Florida PK and even found a flaw. The Golden Knights special teams have been a boondoggle all season, especially in the playoffs. Through three games, the Golden Knights’ penalty kill has been perfect.
However, goalie Adin Hill had his softest game since the Edmonton series, and the growing cult hero will need a bounce-back game, too.
The Panthers have simultaneously the cardiac kids and the Cinderella of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. They scored two OT goals in the Eastern Conference Final and another GWG in the final five seconds.
The Golden Knights blocked more than 30 shots in Game 3. “It’s more about the way we play. We protect the interior first. So, it’s more about what can we do to get the next puck,” Coach Bruce Cassidy said. “…We want to be in attack mode.”
Cassidy didn’t make line changes, nor did Florida Panthers coach Paul Maurice, so the game will be a straight rematch.
In net, Golden Knights ‘tendy Hill will face Sergei Bobrovsky.
Expected Golden Knights Lines:
Expected Florida Panthers Lines:
Golden Knights Power Play: 22.5%, 8th
Golden Knights Penalty Kill: 70.7%, 14th
Panthers Power Play: 21.8%, 79h
Panthers Power Play: 69.6%, 14th
Vegas Golden Knights Game Notes:
Jonathan Marchessault became the first player since 2015 to factor on his team’s opening goal in each of the first three games of a Stanley Cup Final. Marchessault scored his 13th goal of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs and tied Leon Draisaitl (13 in 12 GP) for the most among all players.
The Vegas Golden Knights’ Game 2 victory over the Florida Panthers marked the team’s 14th win this postseason, the most wins the club has ever had in the playoffs.
The Golden Knights have seen 15 of their 18 skaters on the scoresheet after three games of the Stanley Cup Final. Jonathan Marchessault and Jack Eichel lead the squad with four points each.
The Golden Knights have scored a power-play goal in four straight games for the first time since Dec. 11-17, 2022. The Golden Knights, who ranked 18th in the NHL on the power play in the regular season (20.3%), are 6-for-17 in the Stanley Cup Final (35.3%).
How to Watch:
Radio: Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340. AM Deportes 1460 AM