Can the Florida Panthers tie the Stanley Cup Final in Game 4 on Saturday?


The Florida Panthers narrowly earned their first Stanley Cup Finals victory in franchise history after Matthew Tkachuk tied Game 3 on Thursday with a goal in the final minutes and Carter Verhaeghe scored the overtime winner. The Panthers now trail the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 in Saturday’s deciding Game 4 at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise.

Should we expect to see things go 2-2 when the final returns to Vegas next week? Frank Seravalli and Mike McKenna discussed it on Friday’s edition of Daily Faceoff Live.

Frank Seravalli: We have a series. The Florida Panthers won their first Stanley Cup Finals game in franchise history with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. They were a shot away, in fact minutes away from the Golden Knights, who took a 3-0 series lead. And instead, the complexion of this series is entirely different, if not for the somewhat similar kind of game throughout, in which the Panthers almost shot themselves in the foot repeatedly with the unnecessary penalties that they took. When you watch this series now, do you feel any different about it?

Mike McKenna: It still feels like the same series to me because the last game, Game 3 here, was a perfect example of who the Florida Panthers are. They relaxed for a lot of that game, Frank, and they still found a way to come back and win. And they did it against Boston. You wonder, is this the spark Florida needs to get its mojo back? Because there are a few key facets. They need Tkachuk to play at the top of his game, even though he left Game 3 on concussion protocol for a while. Comes back, scores a huge goal. Brandon Montour, he had not scored a point in 10 games, scores a goal. And Sergei Bobrovsky was amazing.

So those were the things they needed, but I always judge how a team plays by the odd number of men rushing back and forth. And last night it felt like it was 20-0 in favor of Vegas. I think Florida defended the front of their net at least a little better, but they gave up way too much in the run and those bad penalties are going to eat them away. It’s just a microcosm of this team, Frank. They’re hard to predict, as they can score big goals in big moments, and you just can’t let them hang around games. And if they are a little tighter defensively, they give themselves a chance to win.

Seravalli: Yeah, and I think if you’re plotting a plan for a chance to win, it’s right in front of you if you’re the Florida Panthers. The only thing I think they did much better was they focused on the game. Yeah, they took unnecessary penalties, but they weren’t frustration penalties. It wasn’t silly scrum stuff after the whistle, which we’ve seen a lot in this series. They had their game in front, they were ready to play, and if they could cut down on the unnecessary fouls they had made and give their power disadvantage a chance to really settle in – they gave up two goals (on the power play ) in each of the first three games of the series for six goals so far against the power play Vegas Golden Knights. This must change. If you could just reduce that to one, and not get greedy at the same time, but hey, your power play is 0 for 12 in the series, maybe make a change on that front. One or the other, in addition, Sergei Bobrovsky continues to bounce.

You can watch the full episode here…


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