« You’re not in trouble until you win at home » is the classic hockey saying, and the Florida Panthers found themselves in the same spot in Game 3, down 2-0 in the series, but still plenty of lead with two home games. The Vegas Golden Knights made it tough as always, but the Panthers gave up with the 3-2 win, needing overtime to win their first Stanley Cup Finals game in franchise history and shrink from half the lead of the series.
The Panthers were going to need the first goal if they wanted to avoid anything. like what they managed in Game 2, and they only got 4:08 in the first period. Brandon Montour’s wrist shot from the point beat Adin Hill to open the scoring, giving the new dad his first goal and point since Game 1 of the second round.
However, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses for the Panthers in the first period. First of all, they took a big hit in programming, with Matthew Tkachuk lit by Keegan Kolesar and leave the game. And then on a 4-on-3 power play late in the first, the Golden Knights tied the game, while a Jonathan Marchessault, punctual, was deflected in front by Mark Stone.
The Golden Knights kept that momentum going in the second period, getting plenty of chances, but still struggling to beat Sergei Bobrovsky for most of the frame. It wasn’t until five minutes before they finally broke through to take a 2-1 lead, with Jack Eichel makes a clever cross pass to Marchessault for the one-timer goal, which would tie him with Leon Draisaitl for the most playoff goals with 13.
It looked like Vegas was going to hold on and win with their game in the third, limiting the chances and getting a few of their own to extend the lead, but with 2:13 left in the game, Matthew Tkachuk clutched again. , as it was perfectly positioned in the crease for a rebound from a Carter Verhaeghe slapshot to even the game.
And we only needed 4:27 to decide a winner and make it a series again. Verhaeghe kicked the puck to the net as the Panthers just entered the offensive zoneand he beat Hill to give Florida the 3-2 victory in overtime, and halved Vegas’ series lead to 2-1.
Stone and Marchessault both had multi-point games with a goal and an assist for the Golden Knights, while Tkachuk and Verhaeghe had a goal and an assist for the Panthers. Bobrovsky was the main reason this game remained close, stopping 25 of 27 shots he faced in Florida’s win. They will be looking to continue to use home advantage and even the series on Saturday night.