The Florida Panthers have battled their way back into the series, but it wasn’t easy. Trailing by a goal heading into the third period, the Panthers were staring down a 3-0 series deficit in front of their own fans, but they refused to allow that to happen. With just over two minutes remaining in the game, who else but Matthew Tkachuk scored to tie everything up. Can the Panthers do it again and tie the series?
Vegas Golden Knights to win
After three games in this series, shots on goal are tied exactly at 89-89 in all situations, with Vegas holding an edge in expected goals and high danger chances, while Florida has the advantage in shot attempts and scoring chances. It’s a remarkably even series overall, just not by score.
So far Vegas has simply been far better at executing, outscoring the Panthers 14-7. The biggest difference has been the Golden Knights being lethal on the powerplay, scoring four times in three games, while the Panthers have been ice cold with zero.
Even while the Panthers crawled their way back in the series, the lack of discipline still haunted them. If they can’t control themselves, Vegas has a massive advantage.
Under 5.5 total goals
Will this series revert to the kind of goalscoring we saw in the first two games? One thing to keep in mind is that as series go on in the NHL playoffs, scoring usually gets tighter, and officiating starts to disappear. That means fewer powerplays, and fewer penalties means more cheating on defence, making it tougher to score.
Sergei Bobrovsky seemed to be back in the zone a bit in Game 3, so I think there’s a good chance we get another lower scoring game in Game 4. That might not last for the whole series, but at least until the series shifts back to Vegas.
Vegas Golden Knights to score first
So far in this series, the teams have alternated who has scored first, with the Panthers scoring first in Games 1 and 3, while the Golden Knights scored first in Game 2.
After dropping Game 3 in overtime when they had control in the third period, I expect the Golden Knights to come out of the gates on fire in Game 4.
Unless Sergei Bobrovsky is playing to heroic levels at the beginning of the game, I fully expect Vegas to strike first.
Jonathan Marchessault & Matthew Tkachuk both to score 1+ points
This has hit each of the previous two games, as both players continue their red-hot streaks. In fact, in the last game, if you were really daring, you could have bet for both players to get 2+ points and won.
Both players are the keys to their teams’ offences, and neither of them are showing any signs of slowing down. Even in a game where there wasn’t much scoring overall, both players forced their way onto the scoresheet.