Game 1 of the 2023 Stanley Cup Final was even through two periods but the Vegas Golden Knights dominated in the third on the way to a 5-2 win and 1-0 series lead. They are solid home favorites on the NHL odds for Game 2 on Monday night.
Panthers vs. Golden Knights, Game 2 | 2023 NHL Expert Analysis
How to Bet Florida at Vegas NHL Odds & TV Info
When: Monday , 8 PM ET
Where: T-Mobile Arena
Stream/gameday audio: TNT app
Opening MLB Lines: Knights -135, Panthers +115 (total 5.5)
Why Bet on Florida?
The Panthers got Game 1 goals from Eric Staal and Anthony Duclair. Staal opened the scoring midway through the first period by scoring shorthanded. He has four points, 11 shots on net, 13 hits and a minus-3 rating through 17 playoff contests. A Stanley Cup champion with the Hurricanes in 2006, Staal’s goal was also his first in the Stanley Cup Final in 17 years, which is the longest span between Final goals in NHL history.
Duclair has scored in consecutive contests and now has four goals this postseason. He’s added six helpers. It was Florida’s first loss since May 10. Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 29 saves for the Panthers. He went 9-for-11 against high-danger shots.
“I felt pretty good,” said Bobrovsky, who leads all goaltenders in the postseason with 11 wins. “I saw the puck well. The movement was good. Everything was good. It was a great game. I was really happy to be there, to play that game and to face that team. It was a good game.”
Florida enters its sixth Stanley Cup Final game in search of its first victory in the championship series. Two other clubs have lost at least their first five contests in the Final – St. Louis halted an 0-12 run with a Game 2 victory in 2019 (against the Bruce Cassidy-led Bruins) and Washington stopped an 0-5 stretch with a Game 2 win in Las Vegas in 2018.
The loser of Game 1 in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final has rallied to win the championship 20 times, including in three straight years from 2018 to 2020 – a stretch that began with a turnaround by Washington in 2018 against Vegas. Each of the past 23 Stanley Cup Final series, from 1999 to 2022, have required five or more games (18 of 23 series in that span have need six games or more).
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Why Bet on Vegas?
Forward Jonathan Marchessault didn’t score a goal in the first seven games of these playoffs. He’s scored 10 in the last 11 since then, including the Golden Knights’ opening goal of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday. The 32-year-old received an excellent pass by Chandler Stephenson from behind the Panthers net and scored past Sergei Bobrovsky to tie the game 1-1 in the first period.
Marchessault has been Vegas’ most consistent offensive producer since that early playoff drought and extended his point streak to six games, which trails only Max Pacioretty (7 GP in 2021) and Theodore (7 GP in 2020) for the longest postseason run in Golden Knights history.
Shea Theodore scored his first goal of the 2023 playoffs and first overall since March 7 – also against Florida – to halt a 27-game drought. Theodore registered 1-1—2 and became the second Golden Knights defenseman to record a multi-point performance in the Final, joining Deryk Engelland (Game 1 in 2018).
Reilly Smith recorded his franchise-leading fourth goal in the Stanley Cup Final and has now scored in three straight Final contests dating to Game 4 in 2018. The only players with a longer such streak (spanning years) over the past 40 years are Mario Lemieux (7 GP), Wayne Gretzky (6 GP), Brian Propp (4 GP), Sergei Fedorov (4 GP) and Ryan O’Reilly (4 GP).
Zach Whitecloud became the second defenseman in the past 22 years – and 11th in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) – to score the game-winning goal in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Adin Hill stopped 33 of 35 shots in the win. Hill had some massive saves over the first two periods when the game was close, and he stayed strong in the third as Vegas’ offense took over. The 27-year-old has won seven of his last nine starts, and this was the fifth time in that span he’s limited the opponent to two goals or fewer.
The Golden Knights have won all three series in which they won Games 1 and 2, defeating the Stars in the 2023 Conference Finals (4-2 W), Blackhawks in the 2020 First Round (4-1 W) and Kings in the 2018 First Round (4-0 W). Every time Vegas has taken a 2-0 series lead, they go on to pull ahead 3-0 and then win the series.
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- Panthers are 12-2 in their last 14 road games.
- Panthers are 8-3 in their last 11 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Golden Knights are 5-1 in their last 6 games following a win.
- Golden Knights are 4-0 in their last 4 Monday games.
- Golden Knights are 5-0 in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Panthers are 0-6 in the last 6 meetings in Vegas.
Vegas 3, Florida 2
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