Despite losing Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Florida Panthers not ready to press the panic button
Far from it, in fact.
“It’s just one game,” forward Anthony DuClair said on Sunday. “For us, we’ve been here before. Learn from (Saturday) night, watch some video and have fun.”
Expect a loose Florida team going into Game 2 of their best-of-seven series vegas golden nights monday night in las vegas
“When you’re in this position, it can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Duclair, who scored in Saturday’s series-opening 5-2 loss. “So you have to make the most of it.”
Duclair is, undoubtedly, leading panthers Coach Paul Morris, who pointed out that Florida, which just barely made the playoffs as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, has been in this position before
“We also lost the first game of the Boston Series (in Round 1),” Morris said. “Gets a little better. Lost two more. Gets a little better. Everyone just (offensive) breathless.”
Maurice’s comments drew some laughter from the media, but he stood his ground. panthers rebounding from a 3–1 deficit to upset the record-setting Bruins, then take down Toronto in five games and defeat Carolina in four games in the Eastern Conference Finals.
So, been there, done that.
“It’s the first game,” said goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who stopped 29 of 33 shots while suffering just his third loss in 14 playoff appearances. “It’s a long series. There’s a lot of hockey ahead of us. We play, we learn and we move on.”
If not for a little better luck and a highlight-reel save by Vegas goaltender Edin Hill, the outcome of Game 1 could have been very different.
Florida had three shots hit the post in the first two periods, and Hill leapt across the crease to deflect Nick Cousins’ chip shot over an open net with the paddle of his stick.
“Just kind of desperation,” admitted Hill. “Reached out with my stick and got a piece of it.”
“That’s an unrealistic savings, isn’t it?” said Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy. “You need those saves in critical moments. We didn’t play our best game in front of him. I’ll be the first to admit it.”
Despite all this, panthers Still tied 2-2 entering the third period after Duclair’s goal from the top of the right circle with 11 seconds remaining in the period
golden nightsZach Whitecloud scored the game-winner on a long point shot that went past a double screen at the 6:59 mark of the third period. Mark Stone made it 4–2 when he batted in a clearing pass in the low slot and then quickly made a wrist shot with 6:19 remaining, and Reilly Smith sealed the win with an empty-netter. .
“Obviously, the first game was too big to win,” said Vegas center Jonathan Marchesault, who scored his team-leading 10th goal of the playoffs. “(But) there is a lot of work to be done.”
Vegas also won Game 1 of their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance during their inaugural season in 2017–18, but then lost four in a row to the Washington Capitals.
“We’re three (wins) away,” Hill said. “Our work is not done. You know Florida is going to move on in Game 2.”
– Field Level Media