With a victory tonight, the Golden Knights will be one win closer to claiming the franchise’s first Stanley Cup trophy. Through two games Vegas is scorching Florida in the offensive zone while allowing just three goals in six periods. For all intents and purposes, the 2023 Stanley Cup Final has been a one-sided mismatch.
We’ve approached every game in the playoffs the same way. We try to take it, everyone says, one at a time, but we’ve got our backs against the wall, obviously. We’re down by two, but we’re coming home. Love our team, love our resiliency. We’re going to go out and give our best effort, play our best game tomorrow and go from there. -Marc Staal, FLA defenseman
While the right things are being said from the Panthers’ locker room, they understand tying the series over the next two games is a tall order. Sure, they recovered after falling behind in their opening round. However, the Golden Knights are not playing like an opening round team. No, Vegas is competing like one of the all-time great Stanley Cup teams. The statistics and outcomes highlight VGK’s dominance.
Highest Scoring Stanley Cup Teams In Stanley Cup Final:
- 2023 Vegas Golden Knights – 6.0 Goals Per Game (2 Games)
- 1980 New York Islanders – 5.2 GPG (5 Games)
- 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins – 4.6 GPG (6 Games)
- 1981 New York Islanders – 4.3 GPG (6 Games)
- 2010 Chicago Blackhawks – 4.2 GPG (6 Games)
Last season, the Cup-winning Colorado Avalanche scored 20 total goals in six contests. The Golden Knights are eight goals away from matching the Avalanche’s total in only six periods. If their pace continues, Vegas will rank among the best offenses in Stanley Cup Final history.
Most pundits expect the Panthers to snap out of their two-game funk and threaten the Golden Knights series lead. Considering the flow Vegas is on right now, it wouldn’t be wise to count them out in South Florida. Especially, considering how VGK have feasted on the road.
I love the road, to be honest, where all the guys are together, having team dinners, playing cards all together, hanging out. We have such good team chemistry this year that we have a lot of fun. There’s no dull moment with that group of guys. -Jonathan Marchessault
The current Conn Smythe favorite and his teammates welcome a road obstacle. Through three rounds the Golden Knights are 6-2 on the road and are overwhelmingly outscoring their opponents in their own barns. Again, who would have thought Vegas would hold a road goal differential of +16? A visiting team shouldn’t be that comfortable in the postseason.
VGK’s Goals Score/Goals Allowed By Location
- Home: 3.82 Goals Scored Per Game
- Road: 4.0 Goals Scored Per Game
- Home: 3.0 Goals Allowed Per Game
- Road: 2.0 Goals Allowed Per Game
I think we have a good balance where we certainly have fun, but I think that we also have a good balance of knowing when to buckle down and take things seriously. When you face adversity through a game, a series or a playoffs, that’s when that camaraderie for one another really shines through and I don’t think you can win without that. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of a couple successful teams and any team that has that success, they certainly get along off the ice. This here is a special group. -Alec Martinez
It’s highly unlikely the Golden Knights will lose tonight’s Game 3 because of careless, sloppy or undisciplined play. Coming off two straight Stanley Cup Final wins, Vegas remains confident, loose, and have a two-game head start. The pressure is on the home team tonight, and for them to cut Vegas’ series lead in half, they’ll need to be nearly flawless.
Boston is a good example. We were down, we found a way. We started playing a little better and we found a way to come back and get out of there. So, the same thing here. We’ve just got to work a little harder. We’ve got to work a little smarter in the ways to win games.- Aleksander Barkov, FLA captain
Florida’s players believe they are mentally prepared to dig out of a two-game hole tonight because of their first-round comeback against the Boston Bruins. While past series successes can reassure the Panthers’ ability to bounce back, it won’t affect the mentality of the streaking Golden Knights.
It’ll take more than being called for fewer misconducts to rattle the 6-2 homewreckers.