Each day, Last Word on Hockey takes a look at the games that are happening and gives our predictions for each one, breaking down head-to-head and other factors that may play in. We also have a featured game of the day, which is considered must-watch TV. Today’s featured game is the Florida Panthers vs Vegas Golden Knights. Keep checking our NHL predictions throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Florida Panthers vs Vegas Golden Knights
Series: Panthers 0-1 Golden Knights
This round of NHL predictions is ready for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Florida Panthers road warrior streak was stopped by the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1. Eric Staal started the scoring, but the Panthers awoke the Golden Knights. Sergei Bobrovsky will get the call in net for Florida after making 29 saves in the series opener. The Panthers weren’t able to control the middle of the ice like they have in previous rounds of the post-season. Matthew Tkachuk racked up 14 penalty minutes and was lucky to not be suspended Game 2. The Panthers will have to shake off the rust in this one.
Vegas scored five of the game’s last six goals to take the Cup Final opener. The Golden Knights were able to score twice on the power play and them taking chances will be key. Adin Hill will once again get the start in net for Vegas, as he continues to command a big day with his next deal. Hill made one of the saves of the playoffs in the first game. Mark Stone has seven goals, but the Golden Knights got plenty of goals from other sources. That wide distribution makes them a dangerous club in the Final.
Vegas has been very good at home, but Florida has dealt with the adversity it handled in the first round. The Panthers will need to get on the board first, but it won’t always be a guarantee.
Prediction: Golden Knights win 4-2.
Main photo by: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports