The Florida Panthers were defeated by the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2023 Stanley Cup Final. Florida had a magical run that was cut short by Vegas who was in the final for the second time in their history.
Here we are in the next season and the teams met for the second time since the Final on Thursday. The Florida Panthers won the first one on December 22nd, 4-2.
In this game that took place on Thursday night, the Panthers swept the season series by winning 4-1. Vegas is struggling right now and it showed in this game.
The Panthers went down 1-0 thanks to a goal from Vegas’s Pavel Darofeyev. From there, they scored four unanswered. Sam Bennett, Matthew Tkachuk, Carter Verhaeghe, and Sam Reinhart all found the back of the net for Florida.
The Florida Panthers did a very good job against the defending champs
It has been a very good year for the Panthers right now. An argument can be made that they are the best team in the league right now. They are sixth in the league standings as we stand but they have been playing as good as anyone recently.
Winning the Atlantic Division is very much in reach for them. They are 24-12-2 which is good for 50 standings points. They trail the Boston Bruins by one point.
As for Vegas, they are still set up well despite their recent struggles. Their loss dropped them to 22-12-5. They are 8th in the overall league standings and only trail the Vancouver Canucks in the Pacific Division standings.
If these two teams met again this season, it would have to be in the Stanley Cup Final. Nobody should doubt either of their abilities to get there again if they are at the top of their game. No hot or cold streak should impact what people think with a lot of hockey left to play.
Florida will go again on Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche. It is probably based on proximity with their road trip but going against the last two Stanley Cup champions in back-to-back games is never easy.
As for Vegas, they will host the New York Islanders later on the same day. It should be a battle between two teams that need to pick up as many points as possible right now.