Panthers Will Come Out And Smoke Golden Knights

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Golden Knights vs. Panthers, 8:00 ET

We are now 1-1 in the Stanley Cup Finals and in a significantly better position than one of the teams that are playing in tonight’s contest. We get Game 3 in the chase for the cup between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Florida Panthers. Hockey has been good to us this year and I am hoping that we can put an exclamation point on the final few games of the season.

The series now shifts to Florida and the home of the Panthers. They’ve been pretty solid at home this season so this might be the push they need to get themselves back into the series. I don’t need a ton of stats to tell you that this is the most important game of their season. They simply can’t afford to go down 3-0. Most teams that do end up losing the first three games lose the series. The Panthers were down 3-1 to the Bruins, but they split the first two games of that series. They now have their backs against the wall and must get a win. In Game 1 they were able to keep it pretty close. The final score of 5-2 was actually closer than I think the final indicates. For Game 2, we saw a different story. The Golden Knights came out and took it right to the Panthers. They were able to win the first two periods 4-0. Even if the Panthers didn’t lose the first two periods and just kept it 0-0, they lost the third period 3-2, so they have now lost four of the six periods, and tied in two of them.

The Panthers and Golden Knights battle tonight in Game 3. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

Why should the Panthers have confidence in winning this game despite seemingly being outplayed in the series? History is certainly on their side. Over the last 12 games where Game 3 has the home team down 0-2 in the series, the team is 10-2 in the game. In addition, the Panthers have actually outshot the Golden Knights, the quality of the shots, and obviously the success of the shots is much different. In order for them to win the game tonight, they are going to have to keep attacking. However, the Golden Knights are in a great position, they just need to keep doing what they are doing. Adin Hill has been great for them all postseason, but he’s keeping a really solid offense to just two goals per game. Vegas may be shooting less, but they are getting much better looks than the Panthers.

I have to imagine that the Florida fans are going to give the Panthers a boost of energy. I also think this is probably the right time for the Panthers to steal a game. I don’t see a sweep happening and I think this is a good opportunity for them. They haven’t blinked even when down to one of the best teams in the NHL. They just might have had too much rust but know this is a do-or-die game tonight. I’m taking the Panthers -120 to win the game. I also am going to take them on the moneyline in the 1st period, they have to come out aggressively and set the tone early at -125.

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Written by David Troy

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