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Stanley Cup Playoffs

Game 4 Notebook: Tkachuk Injured, Pietrangelo Suspension Coming?



Stanley Cup Golden Knights Panthers

SUNRISE, FLA — The Vegas Golden Knights season is down to one win. It doesn’t matter how they do it. They need an ugly, a pretty, or any kind of win. Just one more, and they will be Stanley Cup champions after keeping the Florida Panthers away from the net in the final seconds in a 3-2 win at FLA Live Arena.

You’re forgiven for wondering where or when you might see one of the biggest parades and parties in sports history. I think we all are. If the Golden Knights win, would they immediately go straight down the strip or perhaps downtown?

As for Game 4, it could have been a pivotal game for the Florida Panthers. In addition to falling in a 3-1 hole, Matthew Tkachuk appears injured. He didn’t play for a significant stretch in the third period, and Florida coach Paul Maurice confirmed it without confirming it.

“Well, Matthew has been a grinder his whole life, and he was again tonight,” Maurice said. “We were just looking, hoping to get into a situation where he could use what he had to give us and hopefully get a power play a little earlier, I guess, than the end of the game.”

The Panthers’ winger played less than 17 minutes despite the Panthers’ deficit.

Tkachuk has been the driving force of the Panthers team, not just their offense, for the duration of the playoff run. He scored a couple of game-deciding goals against the Boston Bruins and three in the Eastern Conference Final.

Without Tkachuk, the Panthers would not be in the SCF.

There is some controversy over the end of the game. There are no disputes about the final score, but Alex Pietrangelo left the penalty box at the end of the game and engaged in the shenanigans occurring on the ice. It’s a gray area, and the NHL could rule either way. It could be a suspension because he left the box,. Or, because the game ended, it could be nothing.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman addressed it on the Canadian broadcast.

“I think they’re going to look at it. I don’t want to say which way or the other they might go on this, but I think they’re going to take a look at it because technically, you’re not supposed to leave the penalty box and do that,” Friedman said.

The bet here is that the NHL doesn’t want to suspend a player unless it’s clear-cut, but Pietrangelo did get only one game for his chopping slash on Leon Draisaitl in Round Two. Recent incidents can count against a player.

Protecting 6v5:

Before the chaos of the final 17 seconds, in which the Florida Panthers had a power play, making it 6v4 with the pulled goalie, the Panthers were attacking at 6v5.

They scored with the extra attacker to save Game 3. They did not score in Game 4.

“Smitty (Reilly Smith), Karly (William Karlsson), and Rizzy (Nicolas Roy) took a good chunk of it upfront for us. They had a couple of huge shot blocks,” captain Mark Stone said. “we broke a couple of sticks making them, but as you saw, we got a big save from (Adin Hill) at the end. Guys sold out to get it done.”

After the final horn sounded, all hell broke loose. Golden Knights goalie Adin Hill felt under attack and began throwing punches, first at Carter Verhaeghe, landing fists on Sam Bennett.

Florida fans were displeased and littered the ice with plastic rats and a few bouncing beer cans as the Golden Knights the ice.

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