Stanley Cup Finals: Florida Panthers Win Game 3 in OT

Stanley Cup Finals: Florida Panthers Win Game 3 in OT

Posted on: June 9, 2023, 09:26h. 

Last updated on: June 9, 2023, 10:40h.

The Florida Panthers have continued their perfect streak in overtime this postseason. They maintained it with a 3-2 victory against the Vegas Golden Warriors in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Carter Verhaeghe
Carter Verhaeghe celebrates a game-winning goal in overtime for the Florida Panthers against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Fla. (Image: AP)

Panthers center Carter Verhaeghe smoked a wrister past Golden Knights goalie Adin Hill only 4:27 into overtime to secure the win. The Golden Knights saw their 2-0 series lead trimmed to 2-1, with Game 4 to be played in Florida on Saturday.

They all counted us out before the Final even started,” said Panthers left winger Matthew Tkachuk. “We’re that type of team where we know the end goal. Nobody cares how we got here. It’s a 2-1 series.”

The victory marked the Panthers’ first win in seven Stanley Cup games. The Panthers were swept by the Colorado Avalanche during their only Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1996, and they dropped the first two games of the 2023 finals in Las Vegas.

Another OT Win for the Cardiac Cats

The Panthers have won 10 overtime games in a row, including seven in this year’s postseason. They rallied back from down 2-1 to tie the game in the third period and force overtime.

Tkachuk, the heart and soul of the Panthers, was clutch once again this postseason. Tkachuk assisted on the Panthers’ first goal in the first period by defenseman Brandon Montour. He later scored an equalizer with a little more than two minutes remaining in regulation.

“We don’t know how we’re going to get there,” said Tkachuk. “But we’re going to do everything we can to get there.”

Tkachuk scored 11 goals this postseason, and seven happened in the third period or in overtime.

We’re the Cats,” said Verhaeghe. “We have whatever lives we have, but it’s awesome. It shows how great our team is and the guys on our team have no quit in them.”

Verhaeghe is an overtime assassin in the playoffs, with four game-winning, overtime goals in his career.

“There’s a little bit of collective confidence,” explained Florida coach Paul Maurice.

During his career as the head coach, Maurice’s teams are 19-7 in overtime games.

Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky looked like his old self with 25 saves. The Golden Knights lit up Bobrovsky in the first two games of the series, and he was pulled in the middle of the second period of Game 2. Bobrovsky allowed only two goals in Game 3 to notch his first win in net this series. “Playoff Bob” was flawless in the third period and overtime.

Marchessault Stays Hot in First Loss

Golden Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault found the back of the net once again during a power play in the second period. He now has four goals in the finals, including three power-play goals.

Marchessault has been on fire since the start of the second round, with 13 goals in his last 13 games.

Captain Mark Stone also added a power-play goal in the first period.

I didn’t mind our game,” said head coach Bruce Cassidy. “They made a play in overtime. Sometimes that happens to you.”

For the first time in 11 games this postseason, the Golden Knights blew a lead entering the third period. Prior to Game 3’s letdown, Cassidy had a 25-1 career record in the playoffs when his team was ahead at the end of the second period.

Hill had been phenomenal in goal during the first two games in Las Vegas, including a stick save in Game 1 that fans are still gushing about. He looked like a stone wall for the first 57-plus minutes by allowing only one goal, before Tkachuk snuck the puck by him late in the third period. Verhaeghe tagged Hill in overtime for the game-winning goal.

Hill made 20 saves in Game 3 and the Panthers only got 23 total shots off against him. The Golden Knights’ defense played sharp, aside from two miscues.

“Give them credit,” said center Jack Eichel. “They stuck around, they found a goal at the end and then they win in overtime. Obviously, you don’t want to blow a lead when you’re up a goal with a few minutes left, but it’s all part of it. Nobody said it was going to be easy.”

Betting the Panthers/Golden Knights in Game 4

The Golden Knights are two victories away from winning their first Stanley Cup. A road win in Game 4 would put them up 3-1 with a chance to clinch the cup on their home ice in Sin City. Game 5 is slated for Tuesday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Oddsmakers at DraftKings adjusted their series price after the Panthers finally won a game. The Vegas Knights hold a 2-1 lead and remain the betting favorite to win the finals at -260 odds.

The Panthers are +120 odds to win the Stanley Cup. In the NHL playoff history, teams that trail 2-1 are only 11-44 to launch a successful comeback and win the Stanley Cup.

The Golden Knights are +260 odds to win the Stanley Cup in five games, or with a 4-1 series score. The Golden Knights winning the championship in six games, or a  4-2 series score, pays +290 odds. If this series goes a full seven games, the Golden Knights are +350 odds to win the Stanley Cup in a 4-3 series final tally.

You can back the Panthers at +425 odds to win the Stanley Cup in seven games, or a final series score of 4-3. If you think the Panthers can win the next three games in a row to win the Stanley Cup, the Panthers in six games pays +600 for a 4-2 series score.

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