LAS VEGAS — The Vegas Golden Knights can win the Stanley Cup. The energy is both indescribable and entirely a shared, palpable feeling. When the Stanley Cup is in the building and on the line, the intensity and emotion levels start high and only get higher. Get ready. The Golden Knights host the Florida Panthers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final Tuesday at T-Mobile Arena.
The puck drops after 5 p.m. PT.
The Golden Knights lead the series 3-1, and style points no longer matter. They need one more one, and dreams will come true. A promise made six years ago will be fulfilled.
The biggest storyline remains Matthew Tkachuk. However, instead of garnering headlines for dramatic goals, Tkachuk’s injury status is the big story. His status for Game 5 remains questionable. Popular belief is Tkachuk re-injured or aggravated a shoulder injury when Golden Knights winger Keegan Kolesar barreled over him with an open-ice hit in Game 3.
Given what is at stake, we expect Tkachuk to at least try to play Tuesday.
The Golden Knights have beaten Sergei Bobrovsky enough times.
“They keep scoring more goals than we do,” Florida coach Paul Maurice deadpanned after Game 4.
Goalie Adin Hill has been the new star of the playoffs. The fourth-string goalie is 10-4 with a .934 save percentage and 2.11 GAA. He’s also been penalized a couple of times for punching for Florida players. The combination earned Hill a rousing ovation as he hit the ice for practice Monday. You can see Golden Knights practice video here.
Jonathan Marchessault remains the Conn Smyth Trophy favorite. The big personality has been even bigger on the ice, with 24 points, including 13 goals in 21 games.
The last win is always the hardest.
Expected Golden Knights Lines:
Expected Florida Panthers Lines:
Golden Knights Power Play: 22.8%, 8th
Golden Knights Penalty Kill: 71.2%, 13th
Panthers Power Play: 21.4%, 9th
Panthers Power Play: 70.0%, 14th
Vegas Golden Knights Game Notes:
The Golden Knights could become the seventh franchise in NHL history (and only the second in the modern era) to win its first Stanley Cup in six seasons or fewer, joining Toronto (1918 as Arenas, 1st season), Montreal Maroons (1926, 2nd season), NY Rangers (1928, 2nd season), original Ottawa Senators (1920, 3rd season), Boston (1929, 5th season) and Edmonton (1984, 5th season).
The Golden Knights are 7-0 against the Panthers all-time at T-Mobile Arena.
Hill’s .934 save percentage during his postseason career is the best in NHL history among goalies who have played at least 15 games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With his win in Game 4, Hill became the first goaltender in NHL history to earn 10 wins in a single postseason after not playing in the team’s opening round.
Marchessault has a nine-game point streak. His 24 points are tied with Roope Hintz for the playoffs lead, and his 13 goals have tied Leon Draisaitl for most goals in the playoffs.
Jack Eichel’s 23 points are third to just Eric Staal (28 PTS, 2006-CAR) and Mark Recchi (34 PTS, 1991-PIT) for the most points in a player’s first postseason in NHL history.
How to Watch:
Radio: Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340. AM Deportes 1460 AM