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2023 Stanley Cup Final

Stanley Cup Final G5: Lines, Betting Odds for Panthers @ Golden Knights

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The Florida Panthers play their biggest game of the season tonight when they visit the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.

For the Panthers, it is win and continue playing. For the Knights, it is win and get the glory.

The Panthers know whether Matthew Tkachuk will play tonight — they just are not saying.

Coach Paul Maurice dodged giving a definite answer to whether his star player would dress on Tuesday night but did say he — or anyone else dealing with injuries — will not be benched for load management throughout the game.

That was something he did with Tkachuk in Game 4, playing him for just 46 seconds for the first three quarters of the third period.

”There will be no limit at the start of the game, but that would be true of any player I put in,” Maurice said.

”There is a simplicity in [this being an elimination game] for the coach, too. I don’t have to manage minutes for the next game.”

That same simplicity has trickled down to Florida’s approach to games throughout this playoff run.

After all, they have been in this same situation before.

The Panthers were down 3-1 to the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Boston Bruins in the first round before starting their unlikely run to the Stanley Cup Final.

That series was a point of conversation for the Panthers in two days since their Game 4 loss to the Golden Knights, but they are ready to get back to work.

”No,” captain Sasha Barkov said when asked if there is much more that can be said. “We just have to think about one game at a time.

“That has been what we have been doing all postseason long no matter what the score of the series is. We don’t really think about that, we just come and play the game. It’s no different today.”

The same mentality applies whether or not Tkachuk ends up playing tonight.

Florida has played multiple stretches throughout the season with Barkov and several other key players missing games with injuries and illnesses.

While Tkachuk has been a constant throughout the season — missing just two games to an early-season suspension and just one more with an illness — they are prepared to play shorthanded.

“Obviously, he is a big player, but we’ve had a next-man-up mentality when a guy goes out,” Brandon Montour said. “Guys need to step up and play those roles and I think we have done that all year.”

FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK

THE 2023 STANLEY CUP FINAL
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 
GAME 5 (Vegas leads 3-1)

PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP

23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov // 10 Anthony Duclair

21 Nick Cousins // 9 Sam Bennett // 19 Matthew Tkachuk

94 Ryan Lomberg// 15 Anton Lundell // 13 Sam Reinhart

22 Zac Dalpe // 12 Eric Staal // 6 Colin White

42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad

18 Marc Staal // 62 Brandon Montour

28 Josh Mahura // 7 Radko Gudas

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

34 Alex Lyon

Scratched: Casey Fitzgerald, Mike Benning, Evan Fitzpatrick, Givani Smith, Lucas Carlsson, Connor Bunnaman, Grigori Denisenko, Patrick Giles, Mack Guzda, Aleksi Heponiemi, Matt Kiersted, Santtu Kinnunen, John Ludvig, Mackie Samsoskevich, Calle Sjalin

Injured: Patric Hornqvist (LTIR-concussion), Eetu Luostarinen (LBI)

PROJECTED VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS LINEUP

49 Ivan Barbashev // 9 Jack Eichel // 81 Jonathan Marchessault

21 Brett Howden // 20 Chandler Stephenson // 61 Mark Stone

19 Reilly Smith // 71 William Karlsson // 22 Mike Amadio

28 Will Carrier // 10 Nicolas Roy // 55 Keegan Kolesar

23 Alec Martinez // 7 Alex Pietrangelo

3 Brayden McNabb // 27 Shea Theodore

14 Nicolas Hague // 2 Zach Whitecloud

33 Adin Hill

32 Jonathan Quick

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