Golden Knights Panthers Hockey

Vegas Golden Knights right wing Reilly Smith (19) and Florida Panthers center Carter Verhaeghe (23) battle for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March 7, 2023, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

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As the teams lace up for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Vegas Golden Knights are aiming to build on their 1-0 series lead over the Florida Panthers at 7 p.m.

In Game 1, the Knights declared their intent with a resounding 5-2 victory over the Panthers. The Knights, with odds of -140 on the money line for Game 2, are the favorites to repeat their winning performance. The Panthers, however, sit at +118, showing the sportsbooks expect a competitive game.

The puck line for the Panthers stands at +1.5, indicating that they are expected to keep the game close, if not pull off an outright win. Meanwhile, with an over/under of 5.5 goals, bettors are expecting a relatively high-scoring affair, similar to Game 1.

In their opening salvo, the Knights showcased their formidable offense, racking up five goals, two of which came from power-play opportunities. They also managed to edge the Panthers in faceoffs, winning 39 of 74 for a win percentage of .527.

The Panthers, despite losing Game 1, put up a good fight. They outshot the Knights 35-34 and outhit them 36-29, showing their determination and physicality. They'll need to capitalize on these strengths, as well as improve their power play performance, to flip the odds in their favor.

The goaltenders for both teams were put to the test in Game 1. Panthers' Sergei Bobrovsky faced 33 shots, stopping 29 for a save percentage of .879. Knights' Adin Hill had a busier night, with 35 shots against him, making 33 saves for a save percentage of .943.

The Panthers, coming off a 42-32-8 season, and 19-19-3 away from home, will be looking to claw back in Game 2. Meanwhile, the Knights, with a solid 51-22-9 record and an impressive 25-15-1 at home, will be looking to tighten their grip on the series.

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