Stanley Cup Finals Betting: David Alter’s Game 2 Preview
Ahead of Game 2 of this season’s Stanley Cup, David Alter has his say on what is sure to be another thrilling encounter on the ice.
The goaltending advantage is supposed to be in the Florida Panthers’ favour, but Adin Hill stole the show for the Vegas Golden Knights. Hill made 33 saves to help guide the Golden Knights to a come-from-behind 5-2 victory to take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven series. And if anyone is going to remember anything from that game, it will be Hill’s desperation paddle save on Nick Cousin that kept the game tied 1-1 early in the second period.
“That’s definitely a momentum-swinger for sure,“ Vegas captain Mark Stone told reporters of the save. “It got the bench energized and it kind of opens up your eyes a little bit too. Maybe we weren’t playing that great to start the second (period) but that save kind of turned it around for us and got us going.”
That moment was just before the Golden Knights took a lead they wouldn’t give up and the biggest wakeup call to a Panthers team that has been living through a dream of upset after upset.
Heading into Game 2, the Panthers will have to do a few things in order to even up the series.
Clear out the slot
Sergei Bobrovsky has been successful in the playoffs with the help of good defense around him. Although the Panthers had been giving up a lot of shots, they had allowed their goaltender to see everything. On Saturday, the Panthers had a better pace to their game than had been seen in previous rounds. While doing so, they left themselves exposed in the slot, allowing Vegas to have a 59 percent share of the high-danger scoring chances at 5-on-5.
A tighter game on the back end will be for the Panthers to get back to what made them successful.
The Panthers scored the opening goal of the game while shorthanded and maybe that set a bad tone as they went on to take 48 minutes in penalties compared to 18 from the Golden Knights. Florida also took a plethora of minor penalties in the third period that negated a lot of their effort in making a comeback. The standard of officiating was tight for a Cup Final game. It’s on the Panthers to try and adjust. They ability to walk the line of officiating helped them get to this point.
What Vegas needs to do
Keep firing. Their depth is a big strength of theirs as they got goals from Stone and Jonathan Marchessault while getting offense from unexpected heroes like defenceman Zach Whitecloud. Vegas’ fourth line played at least nine minutes compared to over five minutes from the Panthers. Outside of their depth, Vegas has to be careful when it comes to plays off the rush. Eric Staal’s game-opening goal came at the expense of some sloppy play while on the power-play.
What I like
I think the Panthers return to what has made them successful and even up this series at 1-1 before heading home to South Florida. The money-line here looks good at +120. It’s also a good night to take the under at +105.
Sergei Bobrovsky to make at least 26 saves is easy money at -225 in the NHL betting. A 0-0 tie after one period at +380 looks pretty good here as well.