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Panthers vs. Golden Knights, 8:00 ET
The Stanley Cup Finals resume tonight with the second game of the seven game series between the Panthers and Golden Knights. I was unfortunately wrong about the outcome of the first game, but will be looking to bounce back here and regain that lost unit. Overall, hockey has been a surprisingly good source of income for me this year, and hopefully you are managing your bankroll well with me.
The first game was a bit surprising in the way the loss happened – not that the loss happened. I figured eventually the Panthers would lose a game. I don’t think anyone expected a sweep. And, as we’ve seen time and time again in playoff series, the goal of the road team needs to just be to steal one game. If the Panthers come home tied 1-1 they are in great shape for winning the series with potentially three remaining home games. If Vegas can secure another victory tonight, they are in a very commanding position to win this series, needing to win just two of the potential five remaining games. Back to the way the game was lost. It was tied 2-2 going into the third period after the Panthers made a late goal to tie it up. The third period though was all Golden Knights as they scored three goals in the period (one was an empty net goal). It was surprising mostly because the Panthers have only allowed three or more goals twice in the last 10 games, with Game 1 being the highest scoring.
I would have to expect a goalie change if the Panthers drop this game or Bobrovsky allows in another quick couple of goals tonight. You tend to ride the hot hand/goalie in the playoffs, and Bobrovsky certainly got them there, but he just wasn’t quite as sharp. Perhaps it was the schemes Vegas was throwing against them, maybe it was a bit of rust, but whatever it was, it worked for the Golden Knights. For the Golden Knights to win, they need to remain aggressive. The best stretch of hockey for them was that third period where it felt like they were controlling the pace and getting into a good rhythm. Hockey can be hard to establish pace and control for a number of reasons, but it clicked for them in that game at the very least.
The name of this one is aggressiveness. The Panthers have to come out firing at the back of the net as much as possible and keep Vegas on their heels. If they don’t pursue the puck and get shots off, this is going to be very difficult for them to match the skill of the Golden Knights. Vegas needs to keep doing what they did in the third period. If they can continuously get good looks, and then prevent the Panthers from scoring, this will be a very similar outcome. I don’t have a great feel for the winner of this game, but I do think both teams have to push the pace and want to be aggressive in finding shots. I’m taking the over 5.5 in this one.
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