The Florida Panthers have had a rough go so far in the Stanley Cup Final, with a nine-day layoff after sweeping the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final seemingly affecting their performance.
They’ve been outscored 12-4 in the first two games of the Final on the road, but with Game 3 taking place on home ice, we’re expecting the Panthers to show off their claws and get back in the series.
Before we get to our picks for this game in the NHL playoffs, you will want to check out our list of the best online sportsbooks, so you can choose the best one for you.
For starters, the Panthers are currently a -120 favorite (risk $120 to win $100) in the latest Panthers vs. Golden Knights odds at BetUS Sportsbook. The oddsmakers are confident in Florida’s ability to turn things around at home. The over/under for total goals is set at 6, and we’re anticipating a high-scoring game. Both teams should bring their A-game.
Florida’s history in the Stanley Cup Final could have been better, with a 0-6 record after being swept by Colorado in 1996. They also do not have the best start in losing the first two games of this series. However, the Panthers have the talent and drive to become just the sixth team to win the Cup after losing the first two games of the Final, following in the footsteps of the 2011 Boston Bruins.
One key player to watch in this game is Panthers left wing Matthew Tkachuk, who entered the Final as the second-leading scorer this postseason with a franchise playoff-record 21 points and the leader in game-winning goals with four. Tkachuk has had some disciplinary issues in the series thus far, racking up 36 penalty minutes. He’s had 3 separate 10-minute misconduct penalties. We expect him to get back on track in Game 3 and significantly impact the score sheet.
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Vegas Golden Knights
On the other side of the ice, the Vegas Golden Knights have been on fire, tying for the most goals over the first two games of a Final during the expansion era. The last team to produce 12 goals in the first two games was the 1982 New York Islanders. The Golden Knights have a pretty impressive record of winning the previous 34 playoff games in which they’ve scored at least three goals. They’ve done that in 14 games this postseason.
Vegas left wing Jonathan Marchessault has significantly contributed to their success, riding a seven-game point streak after recording two goals and an assist in Game 2. He’s scored 12 times over his last 12 contests, making him a legitimate offensive threat that the Panthers need to contain.
But here’s the thing – the Panthers have home-ice advantage in Game 3, and we’re banking on them to use that energy to fuel a much-needed win. The crowd at the arena will undoubtedly be electric, boosting the Panthers as they fight to stay alive in the series. Plus, with a -120 money line in their favor, there’s evidence to suggest that Florida can pull off a win against the formidable Golden Knights.
Of course, nothing is a “sure thing” in sports, but we’re putting our faith in the Panthers to claw their way back into the series. After all, they’ve proven they have the talent and grit to make it this far in the playoffs, and we expect them to rise to the challenge in Game 3.
So, gear up for an intense, high-scoring game on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET as the Florida Panthers look to turn the tide against the Vegas Golden Knights. With home-ice advantage and determination, we’re betting on the Panthers to come out on top in this crucial matchup.
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