NHL Game 5 Preview: Florida Panthers at Vegas Golden Knights

Jun 13, 2023

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Game: Florida Panthers @ Vegas Golden Knights

Time: 8:00 p.m.

Odds: Panthers +157, Knights -174

Total: 5.5

Seven weeks ago, the Florida Panthers were in a serious hole, but they found the strength and tenacity to dig themselves out and extend their season. When the Panthers play the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight in Las Vegas, they will try to find another way to overturn a 3-1 series deficit.

In the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, Florida fell behind the top-seeded Boston Bruins 3-1 before coming back to win the series, starting with an overtime victory on the road in Game 5. It won’t be easy.  Vegas will be highly motivated to win its first Stanley Cup in franchise history, especially in front of a boisterous home crowd.

Prior to Florida tying the score late in regulation of Game 3 and winning in overtime, the Golden Knights dominated the Panthers in the first two games of the series in Las Vegas, outscoring them 12-4. But the Panthers were unable to carry that momentum into Game 4 back at home in Sunrise, Florida, losing 3-2 on Saturday after falling behind 3-0.

The Vegas win put the Golden Knights in an unprecedented situation – one game away from capturing their first Stanley Cup. In its first season, Vegas advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals, where the Knights were defeated 4-1 by the Washington Capitals.

Goalie Adin Hill, who has given up two goals in regulation in each of the series’ first four games, will continue to be a key factor for the Golden Knights. Teammate Jonathan Marchessault scored 30 goals for the Panthers in the 2016–17 campaign then was scooped up by Vegas in the expansion draft. In 21 playoff games this year, he has 24 points (13 goals, 11 assists). Chandler Stephenson (10) and William Karlsson (11) have both scored ten or more goals for Vegas in this postseason.

Matthew Tkachuk is expected to give the Panthers some early momentum, though he is listed as questionable for tonight. Tkachuk led Florida’s comeback with three goals and three assists in the final three games against the Bruins. In 20 games this postseason, Tkachuk has scored 11 goals and also has 13 assists.

In its last 16 games, Florida is 12-4 SU with three of the losses coming against Vegas. The Knights have the upper hand on the Panthers, winning eight of the last 11 head-to-head matchups. Florida has had success on the road during the postseason. The Panthers have won 12 of their last 15 road games, however, Florida hasn’t won a game in Vegas in its last seven tries.

Vegas is 4-1 SU in its last five games and 7-3 in its last ten. While the final score of Game 4 was 3-2, the Knights jumped out to a 3-0 lead. In the past ten games against Florida, Vegas is 7-2-1 and has scored an average of 4.00 goals per game. The Panthers have averaged just 2.50 goals per game during the same span.

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