weather icon Mostly Cloudy
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

Golden Knights-Panthers season series recap

It’s not a matchup Golden Knights fans are familiar with.

The Knights and Florida Panthers have faced off only 10 times in their history. Now, they’re set to play a best-of-seven series to decide which of the two unorthodox NHL franchises gets to lift their first Stanley Cup.

The Knights have fared well against the Panthers. They’re 6-3-1, including a 1-1 mark this season. Most of that success has come at home.

The Knights are 1-3-1 in Florida’s FLA Live Arena, their fourth-worst record in any active building.

Whether any of that background comes into play in the Stanley Cup Final remains to be seen. The teams haven’t met in almost three months. A lot has happened since. The Knights got captain Mark Stone back, and Florida became only the third team since 1967-68 to advance to the final as the playoffs’ lowest overall seed.

Both meetings this season came down to the wire. Here’s a recap:

Jan. 12

Knights 4, Panthers 2, T-Mobile Arena

This game was almost a turning point in the Knights’ season.

Stone left the ice 9:18 into the first period with a back injury. He didn’t return the rest of the regular season, undergoing surgery Jan. 31. The Knights followed with a 1-5-2 stretch leading into the All-Star break before rallying to win the Pacific Division and Western Conference.

They were able to stay off those brief struggles in this game.

Florida led 1-0 after the first period and 2-1 after two, but a brilliant goal off the rush by center Jack Eichel tied the score 8:37 into the third. Left wing William Carrier then provided the game-winner off a fearless drive to the net with 2:36 remaining.

Center William Karlsson sealed the win with an empty-net goal. In a preview of the Stanley Cup Final goaltending matchup, Adin Hill made 38 saves and Sergei Bobrovsky 29.

March 7

Panthers 2, Knights 1, FLA Live Arena

This was Hill’s final start of the regular season, as a lower-body injury kept him out until Game 2 against the Edmonton Oilers on May 6.

It was an impressive effort. He made 32 saves. But Bobrovsky emerged with the win after an impressive defensive performance from Florida that limited the Knights to 23 shots, their 12th-lowest total of the season.

The Panthers built a 2-0 lead 4:05 into the second period off goals from left wing Ryan Lomberg and captain Aleksander Barkov.

Shea Theodore scored a power-play goal for the Knights before the second intermission, but they got no closer in the third. Eichel missed a great opportunity late in the game off a feed from right wing Jonathan Marchessault.

The loss was only the Knights’ second in regulation in 13 games after the All-Star break.

Contact Ben Gotz at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter.

Don't miss the latest VGK news. Like our Golden Edge page
William Karlsson’s Stanley Cup parade speech lives on

William Karlsson said he hasn’t watched his legendary speech at the Golden Knights’ championship parade. It’s still a hit with fans, who are wearing shirts with quotes from the speech.