Panthers vs Golden Knights Odds, Pick, Prediction for Stanley Cup Final Game 2

Panthers vs Golden Knights Odds, Pick, Prediction for Stanley Cup Final Game 2 article feature image

Via Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: Matthew Tkachuk #19 of the Florida Panthers reacts during the second period against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game One of the 2023 NHL Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on June 03, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

  • The Golden Knights are short home favorites in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Panthers on Monday night.
  • The Panthers have only lost back-to-back games once so far in the NHL playoffs, but will they bounce back once again?
  • Carol Schram breaks down the matchup and shares her Panthers vs. Golden Knights Game 2 pick and analysis below.

Stanley Cup Final Game 2: Panthers vs. Golden Knights Odds

Panthers Odds+120
Golden Knights Odds-134
Over/Under6 (+100 / -120)
Time8 p.m. ET
Stanley Cup Finals Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

In the NHL, it's often said that you're not truly behind in a playoff series until you lose at home.

The Florida Panthers are hoping that adage applies after they fell 5-2 to the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night.

It's the first loss in 3 1/2 weeks for the Panthers, who had gone 6-0 since dropping a 7-4 decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 10.

With Vegas holding home-ice advantage in the series, the Panthers will need to win at least one road game if they hope to hoist their franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup.

Here's a look at the latest on both teams and a betting pick for Panthers vs. Golden Knights Game 2.

Florida Panthers

The Panthers have been underdogs throughout the playoffs but nonetheless have consistently risen to the occasion. On Saturday, it looked like they were poised to do so again when Eric Staal scored shorthanded to give his team a first-period lead.

But while the Panthers controlled more than 57% of Expected Goals at 5-on-5 in the opening frame, that edge slipped away. They made a strong push to tie the game 2-2 just before the end of the middle frame, but they were overwhelmed in the third as the Golden Knights outscored them 3-0 and controlled more than 66% of Expected Goals.

The Panthers also finished the night with 46 minutes in penalties, compared to just 18 for Vegas. They were 0-for-3 on their power-play opportunities against a penalty kill that has struggled in the playoffs, while the Golden Knights went 2-for-7. But some of that rough stuff could have been about setting a tone for the rest of the series, and Vegas has also taken its fair share of penalties during the postseason.

Now: goaltending. Sergei Bobrovsky's four goals allowed on Saturday are the most he's given up since Game 6 of Round 1 against Boston (five). The Golden Knights succeeded in getting traffic in front of him and making it hard for him to see shots, but this is the first time in weeks that Bobrovsky hasn't been an important part of the solution for the Panthers. He should be better in Game 2 as he gets back into game rhythm following Florida's 10-day layoff.

Vegas Golden Knights

Five years after their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season, the Golden Knights looked poised and prepared in their return to the big stage on Saturday. Their offense was firing, their special teams were on point, and Adin Hill had another fantastic night in net — saving 1.35 Goals Above Expected at 5-on-5 and delivering the highlight of the night with a desperate goal-line stop that may have set the tone for the win.

Vegas also embodies the adage that you have to be lucky to be good. PDO is a statistic that stands in for luck in the highly random game of hockey, and the Golden Knights sit at 1.065, tops in this year's playoffs. On Saturday, they were even luckier than usual at 1.095. Vegas has sustained this trend throughout the postseason, but the law of averages suggests that, at some point, regression will take hold.

With 11 goals in their last two games, the Golden Knights are now scoring an impressive 3.72 goals per game in the playoffs, compared to 3.06 for Florida. Vegas is also allowing just 2.61 goals against, while the Panthers are at 2.82.

Panthers vs. Golden Knights Pick

Saturday night marked just the 12th time in history that Florida and Vegas have faced each other. The biggest trend through their games is home-ice advantage: the home team has prevailed in 10 of the 11 regular-season meetings, with Vegas managing a 7-2 win in Sunrise on Feb. 6, 2020.

The Panthers have never won at T-Mobile Arena, but the Stanley Cup Final is a very different situation than the typical long road trip out west during the regular season. Now that Florida's players are settled in and have the lay of the land, they should be better prepared on Monday night.

Through these playoffs, the Panthers have only lost back-to-back games once. They're also 8-2 on the road, and they won three of four games at TD Garden in the first round, against the regular-season leading Boston Bruins.

Florida coach Paul Maurice has gotten plenty of praise for how he has guided his club so far in the postseason. Since Game 1 ended, he has been focused on lowering the panic level and emphasizing the positives.

At this point, it's easy to assume that Vegas is going to be too much for Florida.

If the Golden Knights start to believe their own hype, it's a perfect opportunity for the visitors to steal a game and level the series — and for bettors to take advantage of a juicy plus-money moneyline.

The value for Game 2 lies with the Panthers.

Pick: Florida Panthers ML +116 (Play to +100)

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