The Dallas Stars made things interesting, but in the end we got the Stanley Cup Final matchup that we expected last week.
The Florida Panthers and Vegas Golden Knights will face-off for hockey’s greatest prize in a matchup between two teams who have never lifted Lord Stanley’s Cup.
The Panthers made it to the Stanley Cup Final in their third year of existence in 1996, but got swept by the Colorado Avalanche. They haven’t returned to the final since. Similarly, the Vegas Golden Knights made it to the Stanley Cup Final in their first year in the NHL in 2018, but fell in five games to the Washington Capitals.
Now, one of the two teams are destined to win their first ever Stanley Cup.
Who will it be? Let’s find out what the oddsmakers think.
Stanley Cup odds
Golden Knights set as favorites to win Stanley Cup
The Vegas Golden Knights are set as the betting favorites to win the Stanley Cup ahead of Saturday’s Game 1.
At -130 odds, the Golden Knights’ implied odds to win the series are 56.52%.
The two teams split their season series. The Golden Knights won the first meeting by a final score of 4-2, but then the Panthers rebounded with a 2-1 win against them on March 7. Overall, the Golden Knights are 6-4 against the Panthers in the 10 all-time meetings between these two teams.
Stanley Cup prediction
I’m going to back the Golden Knights as slight favorites to get it done in this series. Let’s not forget the Panthers were 17th in the NHL regular season standings and just barely snuck into the playoffs as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Sergei Bobrovsky is the reason they’ve made it this far, because they’ve been outplayed in almost every game in the playoffs. For example, they’ve been outshot in all but two postseason games. One was Game 1 against the Bruins, which they lost, and the second was Game 3 against the Maple Leafs.
The Panthers expected goals in the playoffs is 2.97 for and 3.52 against for an expected goal differential of -0.55 per 60 minutes of play.
Their FENWICK%, which measures all types of shots for and against minus blocked shots, sits at a mark of 45.15% in the playoffs which is dead last out of the 16 playoff games in the postseason.
There’s no question, in my opinion, that the Golden Knights are the better team in this series so I’ll gladly take them to win the Cup at -130.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.