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Miami Heat Down 3-1, Panthers Out to Even Series v. Vegas

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FLA Live Arena in Sunrise looks pretty sharp following the Florida Panthers’ Game 3 win against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final on Thursday night. // Photo by Roger Lee Photographer (561) 866-2000

The Miami Heat are in deep now after dropping both of its two home games downtown as it trails the Denver Nuggets 3-1 in the NBA Finals.

On Friday night, the Heat got off to another slow start coming out of halftime but rallied and made it a game.

Still, Denver won 108-95 and now head back to the mountains of hoop with a chance to win it all on home court Monday night.

Do the Heat have a chance down 3-1?

Of course they do.

Back in 2016, your Cleveland Cavaliers rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Golden State Warriors.

Does it look good? No.

Regardless, the Florida Panthers are back home for Game 4 tonight against the Vegas Golden Knights as they try to win both of their home games in a dolled up FLA Live Arena and head back to Sin City tied at 2.

The Golden Knights lead the series 2-1 but the Panthers are feeling pretty good about themselves.

Vegas, meanwhile, figures it lost a nice opportunity to take complete control of the series.

We’ll see how it goes.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW

Radko Gudas’ beard is venturing not only into legendary status during this playoff run by the Panthers, but it is almost getting mythological.

”It weighs 103 pounds,’’ Paul Maurice said Friday, warning refs are going to start poking through it looking for foreign substances like an MLB umpire.

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— Overtime has become the favorite time of the playoffs for the Panthers as they are tied for second all-time with seven consecutive OT wins in a single postseason. What makes them so good when it is sudden death?

— If there is such a thing as a clutch gene, well, Matthew Tkachuk and Carter Verhaeghe got it. The dastardly duo did it again on Thursday night.

Sergei Bobrovsky was back for Game 3 and helped breathe new life into this Stanley Cup Final for the Panthers.

Dan Marino was there, rubber rats rained onto the ice as the Florida Panthers partied like it was 1996 on Thursday night in Sunrise.

— Tkachuk was in concussion protocol for a few minutes on Thursday night but he came back to finish the game. Good thing, eh?

— The Panthers and the NHL have dressed up FLA Live Arena as it played host to the first Stanley Cup Final game in its history on Thursday night.

Sam Bennett did not know a whole lot about the Panthers when he was traded here at the deadline in 2021. Florida was hoping a change of scenery would help the 2014 fourth-overall pick. It certainly did.

— Congratulations are in order to the Montour family as Ryian gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Kai last Friday. Brandon Montour was able to be there for the big event as he flew from Las Vegas to Boca following Game 1 and then high-tailed it back for Game 2.

— There is a TON of video up on the FHN YouTube Channel including Game 3 postgame reaction from Paul Maurice, Matthew Tkachuk, Carter Verhaeghe, Sergei Bobrovsky, Sam Reinhart and Brandon Montour.

Friday’s off-day offerings include Maurice, Aaron Ekblad, Radko Gudas, Eric Staal and Nick Cousins.

Come back later for Game 4 pregame stuff.

To see all the videos, you can click the embedded videos below or head directly to the FHN YouTube Channel RIGHT HERE to see everything all in one place.

If you hit subscribe (it’s free), you will know when new content comes up.

NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW

Has the Vegas Golden Knights found a weak spot in the Florida penalty kill?

It certainly looks like it.

— No one said it would be easy for the Vegas Golden Knights in this series. No one down here did, anyways.

— Did you hear the draft is coming up? No? Well the trade winds are swirling around the Philadelphia Flyers again and they’re all about Carter Hart.

— Looks like the Calgary Flames have a new head coach. It’s not a name you probably thought of when this search began.

— The New Jersey Devils pulled the second NHL sign-and-trade, inking defenseman Damon Severson to the eight-year max and then sending him to his new home in Columbus.

— No surprise here, but Pierre-Luc Dubois is not signing a long-term deal with Winnipeg. Will he end up with the Montreal Canadiens? We have always thought so, but time will tell.

— Perhaps the Colorado Avalanche should make a run at PLD.

— It looks like Tyler Bertuzzi is not returning to the Boston Bruins. He would look good with the Panthers but they do have some other offseason priorities. Hey, why not trade Bertuzzi and Dmitry Orlov at the draft and get something for them?

— Looking at what the Pittsburgh Penguins could be looking at when it comes to goaltending.

FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK

THE 2023 STANLEY CUP FINAL
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS AT FLORIDA PANTHERS 
GAME 4 (Vegas leads 2-1)
  • When: Saturday, 8 p.m.
  • Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
  • TV: TNT
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM, WPOW 96.5 FM2, WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
  • Series Schedule — Game 1: @Vegas 5, Florida 2; Game 2: @Vegas 7, Florida 2; Game 3: @Florida 3, Vegas 2 (OT); Game 4: Saturday at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 5: Tuesday at Vegas, 8 (TNT); Game 6*: Friday June 16 at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 7*: Monday June 19 at Vegas, 8 (TNT). * – If Necessary
  • 2022-23 Regular Season Series (Even 1-1): @Vegas 4, Florida 2 (Jan. 12); @Florida 2, Vegas 1 (March 7)
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Golden Knights lead 6-3-1
  • Postseason History: First meeting
  • How They Got Here — Vegas: d. Winnipeg in 5, Edmonton in 6, Dallas in 6; Florida: d. Boston in 7, Toronto in 5, Carolina in 4.

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