Florida Looking To Get Back into the Series
The Florida Panthers are finding out how the other half feels in the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final. In each of the four wins over the Boston Bruins, the Panthers defied the NHL picks by being outshot in each of those games. That also happened three times against Toronto and in all four contests in the sweep of Carolina.
Florida has outshot Vegas 66-62 and is +27 in hits only to fall down 2-0. Still, Vegas won when listed as the favorite according to the NHL predictions in the two games in Las Vegas.
Florida is 4-3 at home in the playoffs and if the Panthers don’t take care of business at home in Games 3 and 4, there won’t be any more trips during this postseason.
Vegas was third among Western Conference teams with 27 road wins during the regular season and is 6-2 away from home in the playoffs.
When looking at the NHL news, Vegas had to turn to goalie Adin Hill due to injuries to Robin Lehner, Logan Thompson and Laurent Brossoit. For Florida, defenseman Radko Gudas and forward Eetu Luostarinen are both questionable for Game 3.
According to the NHL playoff odds, Vegas is priced at -550 in the odds to win the Stanley Cup title. Florida’s championship odds are currently at +425.
The Road Less Traveled
The most popular storyline involving the Vegas Golden Knights in this series is that veteran wingers Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith both headed from Florida to Vegas thanks to a trade that sent Smith and his salary to the Golden Knights with the stipulation that Vegas selects Marchessault in the expansion draft.
FROM THE FLORIDA PANTHERS, THE VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS SELECT JONATHAN MARCHESSAULT
— z – Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) June 6, 2023
Marchessault has three goals and an assist in the first two games with Smith scoring in the series opener.
Marchessault’s success hasn’t been limited to playing his former team. He is second in the playoffs with eight goals on the road and on the road, the only Vegas player with a better plus/minus mark that Marchessault’s +8 is Jack Eichel at +9.
The Las Vegas odds total has gone over in four of the last five games for the Golden Knights.
Discipline Will Be Crucial
Physical play has been a key part of Florida’s push to first claim the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and then reach the Stanley Cup Finals as a No. 8 seed. There have been times when the Panthers crossed the line between exerting their will on their opponents and making too many trips to the penalty box.
That hasn’t proved costly until running into this series. Vegas has scored four times on the power play with Florida still looking for its first goal with the man advantage.
Matthew Tkachuk, the star of the first three playoff series, has 36 penalty minutes and one point in Games 1 and 2. Six other Panthers have at least 10 penalty minutes as the officials have been quicker to hand out misconducts for the chaos that ensues after the whistle is blown.
Eight of the last 11 games played by Florida finished under the NHL betting lines total.
Golden Knights vs Panthers Game Injuries
Golden Knights vs Panthers Head-to-Head
Vegas has won seven of the last nine meetings with Florida after taking the first two games in this series. Just two of the last 10 games between the teams have been decided by one goal.
Florida has won four of the five home games in the series since Vegas entered the NHL.
Three of the last four times that Vegas played at Florida, the game finished under the total.
Golden Knights vs Panthers Game Information
- Game: Golden Knights (51-22-9 regular season) vs Panthers (42-32-8)
- Location: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise, FL
- Day/Time: Thursday, June 8, 8 p.m. ET
- Golden Knights vs Panther Live stream: NHL.TV
Golden Knights vs Panthers Betting Lines
Golden Knights vs Panthers Picks and Prediction
Expect Florida to treat this matchup like an elimination game because even with the run that the Panthers have been on, winning four games in a row in order to capture the franchise’s first NHL title is probably a little much to ask.
Vegas had played four one-goal games in a five game stretch heading into Game 6 against Dallas. Since then, the Golden Knights have outscored the opponents 18-4.
Florida is 9-1 in one-goal games during the playoffs and 6-0 in overtime games so keep that in mind when looking at the live betting odds.
When making NHL predictions, keep in mind that Vegas Is 33-16 against the spread on the road while Florida has covered against the NHL betting lines in just 19 of 48 home games.
Florida is 34-29-5 when listed as the favorite by the NHL odds with Vegas 21-14-3 as the underdog.
The Florida Panthers are listed at -125 in our Las Vegas hockey odds. This means that if you wager $100 on the Panthers, you have a chance to win $80.00. Vegas Golden Knights is +105, offering a chance to win $105.00 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Florida Panthers a 55.56% chance to win, with the Vegas Golden Knights at 48.78%.