Coming into Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Florida Panthers were on the ropes. They got blasted in Game 2, an uncompetitive game that saw them lose 7-2. The challenge was big enough heading into Game 3. Of course, having to come back from an 0-3 deficit would’ve been a nearly insurmountable task. While the entire team needed to be better, it started with goalie Sergei Bobrosky. In Game 1, he let up 4 goals. In Game 2, coming into the game after Alex Lyon was pulled, he gave up 4 goals in just 13 shots. The Panthers desperately needed him to step up. That is exactly what he did. He gave up 2 goals on 27 shots. We all know the Golden Knights have a very strong offensive team, but the Panthers were capable of playing better defense, and they did.
However, they needed more offensive production as well. After scoring just 4 goals in the first 2 games, they managed to scrape by with 3 goals in Game 3, including OT. Leftwinger Matthew Tkachuk stepped up in a huge way, as did Center Carter Verhaeghe. The two combined for 2 goals and 2 assists. Verhaeghe came up with the game winner in OT as well. This is what you need and expect from your best players. In the biggest moments of the year, they put the team on their back and will them to a win, which for all intents and purposes, keeps their season alive.
Game 4 is Saturday night in Florida. Puck drop is scheduled for 8pm est on TNT. That Florida crowd will be nuts, doing whatever they can to will their team to another victory. It’ll take another complete team effort, but as we’ve seen. the Panthers have the mental fortitude to pull off upsets when their backs are against the wall.
We have ourselves a series!