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Miami Heat Drop Game 1 of Finals, Florida Panthers Fly to Vegas

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The Miami Heat were in the Mile High City on Thursday for Game 1 of the NBA Finals as the Florida Panthers were a mile high in the air earlier in the day headed to Las Vegas for their opener in the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night.

The Heat were behind for much of its opener but rallied to make things close, dropping Game 1 104-93 to the Denver Nuggets.

It was the first Game 1 loss of this postseason for the Heat.

Game 2 is on Sunday night.

The Panthers did not practice on Thursday, the team meeting in Fort Lauderdale for their charter flight to Nevada.

Florida will practice at T-Mobile Arena today and then hold media day with Game 1 on Saturday night at 8 p.m. on TNT.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW

Sergei Bobrovsky has accomplished a lot during his 13 seasons in the NHL.

Now, for the first time, he is in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Bobrovsky spoke to FHN and the AP on a variety of subjects earlier this week from those rumors of losing 20 pounds in Game 5, holes drilled into his skates, his mindset going into the Final and that glorious flow he’s got going on right now.

Colby D. Guy has a lot of time on his hands as he flies to Las Vegas later tonight — so he is opening up the FHN Mailbag. Leave your comments here, on the story here or using the #AskFHN hashtag on Twitter. We will publish your answered questions on Saturday.

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— What do think about the placement of the Cup Final patch on the  jerseys? Some are upset, some don’t care.

— The Panthers’ power play was not doing a whole lot of anything early on against the Hurricanes —and then it caught fire. Florida got three game-winning goals off their power play in Games 2-4 as players and coaches worked on a remedy that worked.

— The Panthers are having themselves a time and Paul Maurice is here for it.

— Florida is playing the Vegas Golden Knights and helped build them into a team which has made the playoffs in five of their six seasons. Former Panthers Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith, players the Panthers gave up at the 2017 expansion draft, have been part of Vegas’ success since Day 1.

Gus Forsling has been a unsung hero during this run to the Cup Final and he had a big hand in beating the Hurricanes — the team which waived him in 2021 allowing the panthers to snap him up.

Patric Hornqvist has not played for the Panthers since December but he is doing everything he can to help his team reach that ultimate goal. “I am happy, so glad we are in this position right now,’’ Hornqvist said. “To be through that journey, for me, is so special. I feel spoiled to be part of it one more time.”

— The Panthers have another odd postgame ritual during these playoffs as they handout a rawhide dog chew. Looks kind of nasty.

— There is a TON of video is up on the FHN YouTube Channel including Game 4 postgame reaction from Paul Maurice, Sergei Bobrovsky, Matthew Tkachuk, Anton Lundell, Sasha Barkov and Aaron Ekblad.

There will also be plenty of off-day video coming as we work our way toward the weekend.

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

The Vegas Golden Knights are the betting favorites to win the Stanley Cup and for good reason.

This is a very good team. Here are some of the advantages they have when the Final finally opens up.

— Looks like the Vegas Golden Knights have some extra incentive to win the whole thing.

— The Pittsburgh Penguins officially hired Kyle Dubas as president of hockey operations. The Leafs’ former GM will serve in that capacity at least in the interim.

David Krejci is once again a free agent. Does he return to the Boston Bruins?

— First impressions of new Nashville Predators coach Andrew Brunette.

— There are a few members of the Colorado Avalanche who have something to prove next season.

— If the New Jersey Devils trade MacKenzie Blackwood, where could he go?

— Looking at the future of Robert Hagg with the Detroit Red Wings.

FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK

THE 2023 STANLEY CUP FINAL
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
GAME 1
  • When: Saturday, 8 p.m.
  • Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
  • 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: Saturday at Vegas, 8 (TNT); Game 2: Monday June 5 at Vegas, 8 (TNT); Game 3: Thursday June 8 at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 4: Saturday June 10 at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 5*: Tuesday June 13 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 Vs. Vegas (Even 1-1): @Vegas 4, Florida 2 (Jan. 12); @Florida 2, Vegas 1 (March 7)
  • All-time Regular Season Series: vs. Vegas 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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