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Florida Panthers at Vegas Golden Knights Betting Preview

The Vegas Golden Knights (51-22-9, 25-15-1 home) and the Florida Panthers (42-32-8, 19-19-3 away) meet in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday night. Both teams are looking to hoist the Cup for the first time in the history of the franchise.

The puck drops for Game 1 at 8 p.m. EST inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Knights are the betting favorite in the opener (-140 moneyline), while the over/under goal total is 5.5.

What to Know – Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers are back in the finals for the second time in franchise history after being swept by the Colorado Avalanche in the 1996 finals. Florida has been a surprise this postseason, knocking off Boston, Toronto, and Carolina to get here as one of the last teams to earn a spot in the playoffs.

Offensively, Florida comes into the finals averaging 3.13 goals per game behind a 9.9% shooting percentage. The goaltending for the Panthers has been good, holding opponents to 2.69 goals per game with a .930 save percentage.

Matthew Tkachuk has stepped it up in the playoffs and leads the Panthers with 21 points. Tkachuk has netted nine goals and added 12 assists over 16 games. Sam Reinhart is second in the postseason with seven goals.

Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has been a monster between the posts for Florida’s defense. The 34-year-old veteran is allowing 2.21 goals per game and ranks third in the postseason with a .935 save percentage.

What to Know – Vegas Golden Knights

Las Vegas was expected to be here after earning the top spot in the West following the regular season. The Knights, since becoming a franchise in 2018, have played in the postseason in five out of the six years. Las Vegas knocked out Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Dallas to get here.

Vegas is scoring 3.65 goals per game, backed by a 10.8% shot percentage. On defense, the Knights are surrendering 2.65 goals per game behind a .920 save percentage.

William Karlsson has led the Knights with ten goals, while Jack Eichel has tallied 18 points with six goals and 12 assists. Karlsson scored a pair of goals and added an assist in the Game 6 victory over Dallas that sent Vegas back to the finals.

Vegas has leaned on both Adin Hill and Laurent Brossoit during the postseason in the net. Hill has played the majority of the games, showcasing a 2.07 goals against average and a robust .937 save percentage. Brossoit has appeared in eight contests, allowing 3.18 goals per game and saving .894 percent of shots.

The Pick is In

Florida has been lights out in the postseason and is clearly peaking at the right time. However, the Golden Knights were the top team in the West and match up well against Florida both offensively and defensively.

Expect a rowdy crowd in Sin City, with Vegas opening up the series defending their home ice.

The Pick: Las Vegas Golden Knights ML

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