The Stanley Cup Finals are set and they get going Saturday night when the Florida Panthers visit the Vegas Golden Knights. Florida has been the story of the playoffs, but the Golden Knights will see themselves as favorites heading into the final series of the season. Below is my NHL pick for the Florida Panthers vs Vegas Golden Knights.
The Pick: Vegas Golden Knights -126
This game will be played at T-Mobile Arena at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 3, 2023.
✅ Vegas has been in good form having lost 12 of their last 16 games played.
✅ At home, the Golden Knights have won nine of their 12 at T-Mobile Arena.
✅ Florida has lost five consecutive games in Vegas.
Florida qualified for the postseason in the final few days of the regular season and have survived three “better” teams in the playoffs. The Panthers started the postseason by upsetting the Boston Bruins, who were the best regular season team in NHL history, in seven games, and followed that up by beating the Toronto Maple Leafs in five. The Panthers advanced to the Stanley Cup by sweeping the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Finals. A remarkable run by the Florida Panthers and their two main catalyst – Sergei Bobrovsky and Matthew Tkachuk.
In 16 postseason games, Tkachuk leads the Panthers with nine goals, 12 assists, and 21 points. Carter Varhaeghe is a team best +11 this postseason.
The Vegas Golden Knights Have Home Ice Advantage
Vegas has been impressive this postseason as they have taken care of all three opponents in six games or less. The Golden Knight started this run by winning the final four games of the series and beating Winnipeg in five games. Up next were the Edmonton Oilers and Vegas won the final two games of that series to eliminate the Canada’s last hope in six games. In the Western Conference Finals, Vegas went up 3-0 on the Dallas Stars and got the job done in six games. A fun run by one of the newest franchises in the NHL.
The Golden Knights have been balanced this postseason and Jack Eichel has been the main man. Eichel leads the way with 12 assists and 18 points in 17 games. William Karlsson has a team high 10 goals and Jonathan Marchessault is an impressive +13.