Stanley Cup Game 4 best bets: Golden Knights to rebound
Can they level the series Saturday, or will the Golden Knights head home with a chance to win the Stanley Cup in Game 5?
Let's take a closer look at the contest and a play that stands out.
Hockey is a funny sport sometimes. Statistically speaking, the Golden Knights had their best game of the series in a lot of ways.
They posted their highest expected goals for percentage, generated a significant amount of high-quality scoring opportunities, and mostly neutered the Panthers' attack with stout defense.
Florida's expected goal output was the lowest it's been all series, and the team registered only 23 shots in nearly 65 minutes of hockey.
As fate would have it, the Golden Knights lost. I don't think it's because they played poorly and are in need of drastic adjustments. It really comes down to goaltending.
Sergei Bobrovsky posted a .926 save percentage and looked like the guy we saw over the first three rounds. Adin Hill posted an .870 save percentage. It really is that simple.
That the Panthers gave it their best shot and had only 23 shots in a must-win game is concerning.
To get a result with that kind of effort, Florida needs Hill to struggle and/or Bobrovsky to produce an all-world showing. If the Panthers lose the goaltending battle, they lose the game more often than not.
I think the Golden Knights should feel really good about where they stand. They know they can absorb the best punches the Panthers are capable of, and with one good showing, they'll return home with a chance to win it all.
Look for them to make the most of the opportunity at hand and rebound with a win.
Bet: Golden Knights (+105)
Sam Bennett over 3.5 shots (play to -125)
Bennett has done everything but score in this series. He's lived around the net and generated shots in bulk, piling up 25 attempts through just three games. Nobody on either team has matched that total, let alone surpassed it.
I expect Bennett to have another productive shooting performance in Game 4. Not only has he shown the ability to get to the dirty areas and create shots against this stingy Vegas team, but he's fared much better on home ice all season long.
Playoffs included, Bennett averaged 3.5 shots per game in Florida this season. That number dips to 2.9 on the road, which is a rather significant gap over such a large sample size.
Expect Bennett and the Panthers' top players to get all the ice they can handle with the chance to even the series in Sunrise.
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.