The Vegas Golden Knights hope to move within one victory of the first championship in franchise history when they visit the Florida Panthers for Game 3 of the 2023 Stanley Cup Final on Thursday. Vegas, which reached the Final in its inaugural 2017-18 season but lost to Washington in five games, dominated the first two contests of this series at home as it outscored Florida 12-4 en route to a pair of wins. The Panthers still are seeking their first Stanley Cup Final victory as they fell to 0-6 all-time with Monday’s 7-2 defeat.
Opening faceoff at FLA Live Arena is set for 8 p.m. ET. Florida is the -125 favorite in the latest Panthers vs. Golden Knights odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total goals scored is 6. Before making any Golden Knights vs. Panthers picks, be sure to check out the NHL predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
This model simulates every NHL game 10,000 times, taking into account factors like current form, individual matchups, injuries and short- and long-term trends when making NHL picks. The model seeks the best values on the money line, puck line and total.
Now, the model has its sights on Panthers vs. Golden Knights and just locked in its picks and Stanley Cup Final predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see the model’s picks. Here are the NHL odds from Caesars Sportsbook and trends for Golden Knights vs. Panthers:
Panthers vs. Golden Knights money line: Florida -125, Vegas +105
Panthers vs. Golden Knights over/under: 6 goals
Panthers vs. Golden Knights puck line: Florida -1.5 (+196)
FLA: The Panthers are 0-6 all-time in the Stanley Cup Final
VGK: The Golden Knights have scored 18 goals in their last two games
Panthers vs. Golden Knights picks: See picks at SportsLine
Florida Panthers vs. Vegas Golden Knights
Why the Panthers can win
Despite his lack of discipline in the first two games, Matthew Tkachuk still is one of the top offensive performers in the league this postseason. The 25-year-old left wing is tied for second with 22 points, shares first place with four game-winning goals and has been kept off the scoresheet in only four of his 18 outings. Tkachuk tallied late in Game 2 after failing to notch a point in the series opener, so he could be revving up for a strong finish to the playoffs.
The Panthers have been receiving solid production from Anthony Duclair during their run as the 27-year-old left wing has registered 11 points in 17 playoff games after notching nine in 20 regular-season contests. Duclair is in the midst of his second three-game point streak this postseason, having tallied in back-to-back contests before recording an assist on Monday. Anton Lundell also has been a bright spot for Florida in the Final as he set up a goal in the opener and scored one in Game 2 after going six games without a point. See which team to pick here.
Why the Golden Knights can win
Nine different players have recorded at least one goal for Vegas thus far in the Final, with Jonathan Marchessault scoring three to give him a franchise playoff-record 12 tallies — 10 of which have come in his last nine games. The 32-year-old winger, who is one of six players who appeared in the 2018 Final for Vegas, extended his point streak to seven contests with two goals and an assist in Game 2. Jack Eichel, who is tied for second in the playoffs with 22 points, has yet to tally in the series. But he notched a pair of assists in each of the first two games and has registered a point in 13 of 19 contests during his first NHL postseason after ending the regular season with a nine-game streak.
Vegas’ defense corps has been contributing offensively in the series, accounting for three goals after totaling the same amount over the first three rounds of the playoffs. Center Ivan Barbashev, who won the Stanley Cup with St. Louis in 2019, also has been chipping in at a strong rate. The 27-year-old Russian is tied for third on the team with 17 points and has landed on the scoresheet in four straight contests and eight of his last 10. See which team to pick here.
How to make Panthers vs. Golden Knights picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning Over on the goal total, as the simulations have the teams combining for 6.5 goals. It also says one side of the money line has all the value. You can only get the model’s Game 3 pick at SportsLine.