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Stanley Cup Finals Game 3: Golden Knights vs. Panthers Pick

Stanley Cup Finals Game 3: Golden Knights vs. Panthers Pick

STANLEY CUP FINALS GAME 3: GOLDEN KNIGHTS VS. PANTHERS PICK – As the series shifts to Florida, the Panthers go home with the exact situation that they didn’t want. Losing two games to Vegas wasn’t ideal, but Florida could handle that as long as the games were competitive.

That wasn’t the case in Game 2. The Panthers were never in the game on Monday, giving up seven goals and melting down on defense. Sergei Bobrovsky ended up pulled from action, and the Florida defense seldom got into position against Vegas’ attackers.

It brought back memories of the second game in the Panthers’ previous Stanley Cup Finals appearance, when they fell by 8-1 to Colorado on their way to a four-game sweep in 1996. Obviously, most of this Florida team barely remembers that series and some members weren’t even alive for it, but the situation is similar against a Vegas squad that seems to be hitting on all cylinders.

If the Panthers don’t come out with a better effort this time, this series isn’t going to last much longer.

The Odds






Vegas Golden Knights

(65-26-10 SU, 56-45 PL)





Florida Panthers

(54-38-8 SU,
45-55 PL)






Puck Drop

When: Thursday, June 8th at 8:00 p.m. EDT

Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise, Fla.

Public Bets: 68% on Vegas

Public Money: 74% on Vegas

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of June 7th, 2023

Vegas vs. Florida In-Season Trends

The Panthers have never won in Las Vegas, but the inverse is close to true as well: the Golden Knights only have one victory all-time at Florida.

The home team has now won seven consecutive games in this series, and most of Vegas’ trips to Florida haven’t resulted in much offense. In three of their past four trips to Sunrise, Vegas left with exactly one goal and a defeat.

Just as important, Florida has never failed to score in the first period of a home game against the Golden Knights.

The Panthers need to come out firing in this game, because falling behind could be the nail in the coffin for their chances in this series.

Scoring early has been common for both teams in this series no matter where the game is played, as nine of 12 meetings have seen both teams light the lamp in the first period and 10 of 12 have seen at least two goals in the first 20 minutes.

FUN My Pillow

Players to Watch

In 2017, the Panthers left Jonathan Marchessault unprotected in the expansion draft, leading him to land with the Golden Knights.

Marchessault appears to have taken that personally, as he’s scored three goals in the first two games and appears to be the favorite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy. For the playoffs, he’s scored 12 goals and 21 points, and he’s looked unstoppable ever since the Winnipeg series.

For Florida, Matthew Tkachuk continues to put up ridiculous numbers — in penalty minutes.

Tkachuk did find the net in the third period of Game 2, but he also picked up his third misconduct penalty of the series. For the series, he’s picked up 36 penalty minutes, which isn’t going to get much of anything accomplished. He’s got to stay composed if Florida’s going to get back in this series. 

The Pick

The first period is going to be critical to the Panthers’ chances. If they come out fired up, they’ll have a chance to stay in this series. If they aren’t ready to go, this is likely going to be over in four.

Either way, goals are likely to come in the opening 20 minutes, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Marchessault is one of the early scorers again. If you’re looking for a longshot, backing him to score first at +1000 could be a great option. I’m not willing to go that aggressive, but I do like Marchessault to score anytime.

Dan’s Picks

Golden Knights ML

Over 1.5 Goals First Period

Jonathan Marchessault Goal +125


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