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Stanley Cup Final: Panthers Just Fine Working Overtime

Possible Season-Saver With Game 3 Win

Just a piece of advice to the Vegas Golden Knights, it might be wise to take care of business in the first 60 minutes of action in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Florida Panthers have proven to be one dangerous team in overtime whether listed as the favorite or the underdog by the NHL picks in the postseason.

Vegas is tied for second in this year’s playoffs with three overtime wins. That sounds impressive until taking a look at what the Panthers have done. Florida is 7-0 in overtime games in the four series, with more than half of the wins coming beyond regulation. The winning streak in postseason overtime games is at 10 games overall.

Stanley Cup Final: Panthers Just Fine Working Overtime
Carter Verhaeghe #23 of the Florida Panthers - Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP

The NHL predictions would not be in Florida’s favor with a loss in Game 4. The Panthers have already rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to beat a Boston Bruins team that set NHL records for wins and points in the regular season. It might be tempting fate to ask the Panthers to do that again in this series and that would be the case if Florida loses in Saturday’s Game 4.

When looking at the NHL news, Panthers defenseman Radko Gudas, who leads all players in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 83 hits, was able to play in Game 3. However, Florida forward Eetu Luostarinen missed his third straight game.Vegas is relying on goalie Adin Hill with Laurent Brossoit, Robin Lehner and Logan Thompson continuing to be sidelined.

According to the sportsbook, Vegas forward Jonathan Marchessault is the front-runner with -115 odds to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Florida’s Matthew Tkachuk and Sergei Bobrovsky are tied for second at +450 with Hill third at +900 despite not making his first appearance until the second game of the second-round series.

According to the NHL playoff odds, the Panthers are priced at -125 to win Game 4. Still the Golden Knights have +250 odds to win the series in five games. The odds of the Panthers winning the series in six games moved from +1200 to +600 after Game 3.

60 Minutes are Not Enough

The Panthers would need to win the rest of their games in overtime to match the 1992-93 Montreal Canadiens with 10 overtime wins. The Canadiens were 10-3 in OT affairs on the way to winning the Stanley Cup in 1993. That also happens to be the last time a team based in Canada won the Stanley Cup title. It was a run that the NHL betting lines didn’t see coming, as was the case with Florida’s surprising journey this year.

The 2009-10 San Jose Sharks went 8-3 in overtime games and that got them to Western Conference finals before being swept by eventual champion Chicago.

Need more of a history lesson?

In 2002, the Carolina Hurricanes went 7-2 in overtime to reach the Stanley Cup Final before losing in five games to the Detroit Red Wings.

When the New York Islanders won four straight NHL titles in the early 1980s, it came with some impressive results in overtime. The Islanders won six of their seven OT games in the 1980 playoffs on the way to the first of those four titles. That came two years after going 5-1 in overtime in the 1978 playoffs.

More recently, the 1993-94 Vancouver Canucks, the 2005-06 Buffalo Sabres and 2020-21 Montreal Canadiens all went 6-1 in overtime games. Vancouver and Montreal lost in the Stanley Cup Finals while Buffalo lost in the Eastern Conference finals. A highlight for the Sabres was Jason Pominville becoming the first player to score a series-clinching goal with a short-handed tally. That happened during one of the three overtime wins in a series against the Ottawa Senators.

In 2020, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s run to the NHL title included a 6-2 record in overtime. Two years later, Colorado won the Stanley Cup by capturing five of the six overtime games played by the Avalanche. That included two overtime wins against the Lightning.

The most remarkable stat in all of this might be that only the Philadelphia Flyers had fewer overtime wins (not counting shootouts) during the regular season than Florida during the regular season. The Panthers were 4-7 in games decided in overtime during the regular season. Apparently, playing 5 on 5 in overtime agrees with the Panthers more than the 3-on-3 format.

Saving Their Best for Last

Matthew Tkachuk and Carter Verhaeghe have led the way in overtime for the Panthers.

Tkachuk’s three OT goals are the most for any player in this year’s playoffs while Verhaeghe ended two games with overtime goals after his game-deciding tally in Game 3.

Both are favorites when it comes to partaking in NHL live betting when the game is tied after three periods.

Tkachuk is tied with Maurice Richards of the 1950-51 Montreal Canadiens, Mel Hill of the 1938-39 Boston Bruins and Corey Perry of the 2016-17 Anaheim Ducks for the most overtime games in a playoff year.

Counting his time with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Verhaeghe has four career overtime goals in the playoffs. That is tied for the sixth most in NHL history. Some of the players he is tied with include Martin St. Louis, Joe Pavelski, Patrice Bergeron, Jaromir Jagr, Jeremy Roenick, Chris Drury, Bob Nystrom and somebody else you might have heard of – the incomparable Wayne Gretzky.

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