Are there any answers available for the Florida Panthers? BetOnline sportsbook customers are curious about that. The Panthers, who looked so formidable in the last two series, have folded, it seems. Things have crumbled for them, as they have been outscored 14-4 in the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals. You could say it couldn’t get worse.
If there’s any time for a huge effort, this is it. The Panthers are back in Sunrise for the next two games as they have a chance to pull even. They get started Thursday night at the FLA Live Arena with Game 3. They drop the puck at 8 PM ET.
Are we seeing the fall of the guy between the pipes?
What in the world happened to Sergei Bobrovsky, all of a sudden? This was starting to look like a feel-good story for the two-time Vezina Trophy winner. He was a life-saver for the Panthers. That was especially the case against Boston when he led the team back from a 3-1 deficit. And remember, although Florida swept Carolina in the East finals, those were all one-goal wins.
And Bobrovsky had been bombarded with shots, as Florida hasn’t played that well in front of him. In these first two games, the Panthers have actually outshot Vegas. But Bobrovsky has stopped only 38 of the 46 shots he’s faced. And he was yanked in Game 2.
Let’s take a look at the numbers
The Panthers, back at home, have been installed as favorites in Game 3:
2023 Stanley Cup Final Florida Panthers vs. Vegas Golden Knights
|Date:||Thursday, June 8, 2023, 8 P.M. ET.|
|Location:||FLA Live Arena, Sunrise, FL.|
Panthers vs. Golden Knights Game 3 Odds
|Golden Knights||+1½ (-260)||6 (-105)||+105|
|Panthers||-1½ (+210)||6 (-115)||-125|
BetOnline has Vegas to win the series at -550, with Florida listed at +430. And don’t forget that you have some great opportunities for astounding payouts on parlays with Odds Boosters!
Maurice contemplates a move in goal…. briefly
Head coach Paul Maurice inserted Alex Lyon in place of Bobrovsky. Lyon was the #1 goalie at the start of the playoffs. But he taken out during the Boston series. And the Panthers rode Bobrovsky to three straight wins against the record-setting Bruins. In the 7-2 loss in Game 2, Lyon allowed three of those goals.
At the post-game press conference, Maurice implied that he hadn’t made up his mind about using Bobrovsky in Thursday’s game. But now he professes “complete faith in what he will be able to do in Game 3.”
Marchessault’s the man
Jonathan Marchessault has played like a force of nature for Vegas. The center has scored twelve goals in the playoffs. And he got there with two in Game 2, in the process grabbing a part of history, in a sense.
Marchessault is the first player since Sydney Crosby (2009) with at least a dozen goals and at least seven assists over a 12-game period in the postseason. So he is a prime contender to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the playoffs.
Tkachuk’s NOT the man….. yet
Matthew Tkachuk has been amazing in his first year with the Panthers. He rolled up 109 points and is a finalist for the Hart Trophy. So that was a great trade from Calgary. In the East finals against Carolina, he had three game-winning goals.
In the first two games of this series, he’s been whistled for three misconduct penalties. He scored a goal in Game 2. But it was in the third period and the game was way out of reach by then.
History’s not on Florida’s side
There have been 53 instances where a team in the Stanley Cup finals has lost the first two games. Only five times has that team gone on to win the series. And it is evident that Florida is outgunned out there.
What the Panthers are looking for is at least one huge effort from Bobrovsky. The back-line defense has been poor, but “Bob” has bailed the team out more than once. And he may have some of that left in him. For us, this may translate into an “under.”
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