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Video Credit: NHL

FSM Recap: Golden Knights vs Panthers – Game 35 – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

Vegas Golden Knights (21-9-5)  |  Florida Panthers (16-13-5)

 

It was Saturday afternoon hockey from the Sunshine State as it was the Golden Knights vs Panthers. Revenge is a dish served cold, and the Panthers gave it to the  Golden Knights as they got served a 4-2 loss.

 

Golden Knights vs Panthers | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden Knights looked to salvage two points on the road trip in a rematch of the Stanley Cup Final against the Florida Panthers. If there is one game that the Panthers have circled on their schedule, this is it.

The Golden Knights will be looking for any path possible to at least a point in the final game of a three-game road trip that has gone anything but well. Logan Thompson is day-to-day, Adin Hill hit the injured reserve, and Jiri Patera allowed five goals Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. This game has an earlier start time. Could coach Bruce Cassidy opt to give Isaiah Saville his first NHL start?

If one player has this game circled on their schedule, it is Matthew Tkachuk. Tkachuk has not forgotten about the hit Keegan Kolesar put on him that knocked him out of game five of the Stanley Cup Final. Expect to see Tkachuk looking to make an impact every shift he is on the ice.

The Golden Knights have allowed 27 goals in their last six games. Before the Dec. 10 game against the SanJose Sharks, it took the Golden Knights 11 games to give up greater than 27 goals. Better defense, better special teams, better puck management, and better breakouts are needed to stop the bleeding defensively. It does not help having the team’s No.3 and No. 4 goaltenders dressing just 35 games into the season.

The Panthers enter Saturday’s game third place in the Atlantic Division and No. 13 overall in the NHL. Sam Reinhart leads the Panthers with 39 points (18 goals). Tkachuk is having a down season with 22 points (five goals).

Sergei Bobrovsky was expected to get the start in net and is 14-8-1 with a 2.52 GAA and .909 SV%. The Golden Knight scored eight times on Bobrovsky the last time these two teams were on the ice together. Add Bobrovsky to the list of players who had Saturday’s game circled on the calendar.

But on Saturday, the Golden Knights dropped their 2nd game in a row played in the state of Florida. They were defeated by an aggressive Panthers squad that made the most of their opportunities and overwhelmed the away team for most of the afternoon.

 

Golden Knights vs Panthers First Period:

 

Florida set the tone early by outshooting Vegas 20 to 3 in the first period and secured a 4-2 victory on the heels of two big power-play goals in the final period.

 

Golden Knights vs Panthers 2nd Period:

 

Despite getting dominated early on by Florida, Vegas actually got on the board first when Mark Stone found the back of the net 1:21 into the 2nd period.

Sam Bennett responded for the Panthers nearly 8 minutes later to tie things at 1-1, and Gustav Forsling picked up his 4th goal of the season nearly 8 minutes after that. It looked like the Panthers would enter the final frame with a one-goal lead, but Pavel Dorofeyev recorded his 3rd goal of the season with seconds remaining in the period.

 

Golden Knights vs Panthers 3rd Period:

 

Golden Knights vs Panthers | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

After 40 minutes of play, the game was tied 2-2, and the Panthers had a 34-16 advantage in shots on goal. Just minutes before the halfway point of the 3rd period, the Panthers went on the power play, and Carter Verhaeghe picked up his 16th goal of the season. Unfortunately, the Golden Knights took another penalty shortly after surrendering a goal, and the Panthers capitalized again when Sam Reinhart scored his 19th of the season.

Jiri Patera made his 2nd start in a row for Vegas and stopped 38 of 42 shots faced, including 13 of 15 faced while the Golden Knights were shorthanded. That onslaught of shots is something the Golden Knights can prevent by playing more disciplined and by possessing the puck more overall.

VGK fell to the Panthers 4-2 and enter the Holiday break trying to find answers.

 

The Golden Knights will travel across the state of Florida to take on the Panthers on Saturday, December 23rd, at noon PST. Thanks for visiting FranchiseSportsMedia.com for your Las Vegas Sports news today.

 

Franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas sports news about Las Vegas Sports teams.

– Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe on all social media: @joearrigofsm

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