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No Dice: Florida Panthers 4, Vegas Golden Knights 1



Panthers vegas

The Florida Panthers were put to the test Thursday night in Las Vegas — and it was not just because they were playing the defending Stanley Cup champion Golden Knights. 

Not only did the Panthers have to withstand an angry Vegas squad that had lost five of six, but they started the second period down two key players and were down two skaters on a pair of separate penalty kills. 

This was one of Florida’s gutsiest wins in some time. 

Not only did the Panthers survive being without captain Sasha Barkov and first-line winger Evan Rodrigues, but they thrived on the adversity and seemed to get stronger as the game went along in an eventual 4-1 win. 

It was the first-ever win for the Panthers in Las Vegas as they extended their winning streak to a season-long six games.

This is a win the Panthers will remember.

Florida killed off three penalties to open the second period but got goals from Matthew Tkachuk and Carter Verhaeghe to take a 2-goal lead into the third. 

There, Florida got yet another power play goal from Sam Reinhart as he tattooed a pass in slot delivered from Tkachuk.

Reinhart, named to his first All-Star Game earlier in the day, leads all NHL players with 12 power play goals.

The most significant difference Thursday may have been the play of goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who certainly remembered how things went for him the last time he and the Panthers were in Vegas. 

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The Golden Knights not only stomped the Panthers 9-3 in Game 5, but celebrated winning the Stanley Cup as their vanquished foes could only watch.

Bobrovsky (26 saves) ended up keeping the Panthers in it early with a two big saves on Panther-killer Jonathan Marchessault as Vegas outshot Florida 8-1 early.

In the end, it was the Panthers able to celebrate on Thursday night even if the stakes were much lower this time.

This game certainly could have gone another way.

Tied at 1 after the first, Florida defenseman Niko Mikkola was called for a high-sticking penalty 35 seconds into the second.

Then, Dmitry Kulikov went in for tripping, giving Vegas a 5-on-3 for 39 seconds.

Soon, Aaron Ekblad got flagged for hooking, giving the Knights another 2-man advantage — this one for 1:21.

Vegas ended up with just one shot on goal and got so frustrated with Florida’s revived penalty kill that coach Bruce Cassidy burned his timeout — and gave away his challenge — during it to try and draw something up.


Florida ends up sweeping the two-game series between the two — although, perhaps, they see each other again in the Final.


Verhaeghe reached the 20-goal mark for the third consecutive season.

He now has a multi-point game in five of his past six.

  • Reinhart had his 15th multi-point game of the season.
  • Tkachuk now has goals in consecutive games for the first time this season.
  • The Panthers are 2-0 on this final westward road trip with stops in Colorado (Saturday) and St. Louis (Tuesday) remaining.
  • Florida went 3-for-6 on the power play; Vegas went 0-6 as the Panthers’ penalty kill has been terrific the past few weeks.


  • Knights 1, Panthers 0 (3:59, 1st): Pavel Dorofeyev put back a rebound off a shot from Mark Stone to open the scoring.
  • Panthers 1, Knights 1 (14:15, 1st PP): Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s hard shot came off the end boards and went right to a waiting Sam Bennett.
  • Panthers 2, Knights 1 (6:15, 2nd PP): Matthew Tkachuk knocks in a soft point shot from Brandon Montour for Florida’s second power play goal of the night.
  • Panthers 3, Knights 1 (18:39 2nd): Carter Verhaeghe drilled a fat rebound Logan Thompson left off a Gus Forsling shot. It was Verhaeghe’s 20th of the season.
  • Panthers 4, Knights 1 (5:23, 3rd PP): Verhaeghe got the party started, feeding Tkachuk at the side of the cage. He then slid it into the slot where Sam Reinhart finished things off.


1. Sergei Bobrovsky, Florida

2. Matthew Tkachuk, Florida

3. Carter Verhaeghe, Florida



  • When: Saturday, 4 p.m.
  • Where: Ball Arena, Denver
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL App
  • Last Season: Split 1-1
  • This Season — At Colorado: Saturday. At Florida: Feb. 10.
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Colorado leads 27-12-5, 3 ties
  • Postseason Series: Colorado d. Florida 4-0, 1996 Stanley Cup Final
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Tuesday at St. Louis, 8 p.m.

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