The Vegas Golden Knights return home for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals after stealing a game in Florida.
Vegas are now just one win away from winning the Stanley Cup against the Florida Panthers. The Golden Knights have a 3-1 lead over the Florida Panthers, who will have their work cut out for them if they want to stay alive in this Stanley Cup Playoff.
This Golden Knights team has been truly dominant throughout the entire NHL playoffs. They beat the Oilers and Stars to get to the Stanley Cup, but what has been truly impressive is the Vegas defense.
They shut out the Dallas Stars twice and have not allowed the Panthers to score more than two goals in regulation. Florida was lucky to not lose both games at home, and at this point face tough odds to force a Game 6.
The Golden Knights’ offense is nothing to sneeze at either. Going back to the Stars series, Vegas has put up stellar offensive performances, scoring four, five, six, and seven goals in separate games. Those numbers tend to increase on home ice.
Stanley Cup Finals Game 5: Expect the Panthers to struggle
While the Golden Knights have been playing lights out at home, the Panthers have been playing like somebody turned the lights out. It’s really been a disappointment to see this Panthers team play like the ice is tilted in favor of their opponent.
The Panthers beat some great teams to reach the Stanley Cup Final including sending the regular season’s most dominant team, the Boston Bruins, packing early. It’s also unclear if Matthew Tkachuk can suit up, which won’t help matters.
The winger’s absence has been a big loss for Florida, and they could really use him back if they want any chance of winning this game. Tkachuk shares the league lead for postseason points with 24 and is tied for third place with 11 goals (including four game-winners).
Stanley Cup Finals Game 5: Stats and Trends You Can Count On
The entire NHL postseason has been electric, and the Stanley Cup final has been no different. It’s really being driven by this Vegas team, though. They are playing above and beyond expectations, and while Florida has the pieces to compete, they are just not clicking in the same fashion.
Vegas is currently scoring 1.9 more goals per game than their regular season average and have a top-10 goal differential at +42. The Florida Panthers, meanwhile, are currently scoring three fewer goals per game than they did in the regular season.
When the Golden Knights have money line odds of -185 or better, they have won 17 of the 22 games. The line for this game opened with Vegas listed at -178.
These two teams also score a lot of goals. Florida has played in games with more than 5.5 goals scored in 72 of their 102 games played this season while Vegas has reached that mark in 59 out of their 103 games played.
With the way these two teams are playing, fans should expect to see a lot of goals.
Stanley Cup Finals Game 5: Vegas Golden Knights win
Whether or not this Stanley Cup Final reaches a Game 6 or even a Game 7, it’s been fantastic to watch. The Stanley Cup playoffs are by far the most exciting postseason to watch in sports.
I don’t think this reaches a Game 6, though. Home teams have been truly dominant throughout the entire postseason this year and historically in the Stanley Cup Finals. With the way Vegas dominated the first two home games, it would be a surprise to see Florida flip the script.
Look for Vegas to take home the Stanley Cup in front of their home crowd on Tuesday.