Florida overthrows Vegas and closes the gap in the final

Nick Cousins de Florida Jasen Vinlove/REUTERS

The Panthers defeated the Golden Knights in overtime (3-2).

A superb goal by Carter Verhaeghe in overtime gave the Florida Panthers a long-awaited victory (3-2) at the expense of the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday to reduce the deficit to 2-1 in the NHL Finals.

The Florida team has come a long way. After two heavy setbacks in Nevada, she had to react because a third would have put her on the edge of the precipice. And this is also the scenario that seemed to be written until 2 min 13 sec from the siren, when Matthew Tkachuk was very happy to push the puck badly returned by the defense into the cages, after a shot from . .. Verhaeghe. The latter will have been the detonating element of the spectacular reversal of the situation in favor of Florida in this match 3, since he himself delivered the coup de grace at the start of “overtime”, with a cannon shot that went to clean Adin Hill skylight.

The Vegas goalkeeper was all the more resigned as he was much less solicited than his vis-à-vis Sergei Bobrovsky, author of many decisive saves, as the Golden Knights had opportunities to increase the score when they were leading 2-1. This advantage, which therefore did not sufficiently shelter them, was the work of the essential Jonathan Marchessault, who placed the puck in a mouse hole, on receiving a judicious pass from Jack Eichel, in the second third. The Canadian thus became the first player in 35 years to score in the first three matches of a final. Marchessault, 32, was also behind the equaliser, his long shot having been deflected near the goal by Mark Stone late in the first period.

At the start of the match, Florida had indeed opened the scoring by Brandon Montour, before suffering the assaults and the superiority of Vegas during almost the entire match. But the Panthers never gave up and pulled out their claws at the right times to give themselves some hope of winning the first Stanley Cup in their history. A goal shared by the Golden Knights who will have to start and finish Game 4 better on Saturday, still in Florida.

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