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Golden Knights push Panthers to the brink
Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Grand Final took place this Saturday night, as the Florida Panthers attempted to even the series after losing the first two games.

Matthew Tkachuk wanted to pick up where he left off in the last game, with his two-point performance including the tying goal late in the third period.

So far, I’m not particularly impressed with Tkachuk’s performance in the final, with a total of… 36 penalty minutes in three games.

He needs to step up his game and, above all, be more disciplined and not let his emotions get the better of him.

Here’s the starting line-up for each team.

The Vegas Golden Knights started the game like a lion, with four consecutive shots in less than two minutes of play.

It was on the fourth shot that Vegas got on the scoreboard. Chandler Stephenson broke away from a Zach Whitecloud pass and beat Sergei Bobrovsky between the pads.

Apart from the Knights’ fiery start, the rest of the period was hotly contested with good chances on both sides.

No other goals were scored in the first twenty minutes, and both teams fired 12 shots on net.

Once again, the referees didn’t seem to be on the Panthers’ side, as a penalty was awarded to Marc Staal for tripping Mark Stone. The only problem is that Staal didn’t touch Stone on the sequence.

Obviously, at the speed the game is going, it’s hard to be perfect with the decisions, but on the restart, we first see Stone give a poke on Staal’s stick, who lost his stick on the sequence. A few seconds later, we see the replay in slow motion, which shows that the veteran defender shouldn’t have been sent to the dungeon.

A few minutes later, Chandler Stephenson picked up where he left off in the first period and scored his second goal of the game. This time, he took advantage of a fine pass from Mark Stone to unleash a powerful shot on landing.

With his second goal, Stephenson now has 10 goals in the current series. Vegas now has three players with at least 10 playoff goals (Stephenson, William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault).

The Golden Knights were definitely on a mission on Saturday night.

Karlsson collected a rebound from Bobrovsky in the slot following a Nicolas Hague shot. It was his 11th goal of the playoffs.

Fortunately for the Panthers, they were able to take advantage of many chances to get on the scoreboard. Brendan Montour’s shot deflected not once, but twice, before beating Adin Hill. The puck deflected off the skates of Brayden McNabb and Shea Theodore.

Montour scored his 8th goal of the current series in 20 games.

Not bad for a defenseman.

It’s also his 8th career playoff goal in 57 games.

With the score at 3-1, both teams returned to the locker room after the second period.

The Panthers needed one of their star players to score, especially an early goal.

Ask and you shall receive.

Brandon Montour served up a beautiful blind pass to his captain, and the Finn had no intention of missing the opportunity.

The game ended on a power play for the Panthers, but they were unable to capitalize to send the duel into overtime. There was a lot of breaststroke at the very end of the game.

The game ended 3-2. Vegas now leads the series 3-1.

The Panthers now face elimination and must win the next three games to claim the Stanley Cup.

The next game is next Tuesday, June 13, when both clubs return to Vegas for Game 5 of the series.


– The first period was tightly contested overall, but the Panthers completely dominated their opponents in the face-off circle in the first period. Paul Maurice’s team led 13-5 on face-offs, and also won the first three duels of the second period. That made it 16-5, for an efficiency of 76.2%.

– In the second period, Vegas dominated 7 face-offs, 15-9. Florida now has an efficiency of 52.4%. After 40 minutes of play, Aleksander Barkov is the Panthers’ cornerstone for duels with 7/11 efficiency. As for Stepehenson, his two goals are not enough. He has won five of his six face-offs.

– Gustav Forsling had a -3 differential in the game. Even if he plays big minutes, he can’t afford a performance like this.

– Sam Bennett handed out no less than 7 checks in the match.

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