The 2023 Stanley Cup Final begins tonight. This year, a first-time champion will be crowned. After a hard-fought regular and postseason, either the Vegas Golden Knights or the Florida Panthers will hoist the Stanley Cup for the first time in their franchise’s history in what will be a series to remember.
The Golden Knights see themselves in the final for the second time in their six-year existence. Looking at the Panthers, this is their first finals appearance since 1996.
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Series Betting – Outright Betting (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Vegas Golden Knights (-125)
The Golden Knights come in as -125 favorites to hoist the cup. They’re the top team in the Western Conference and are looking to become the fastest expansion team to win the cup in NHL history. After losing the 2017-18 final to the Washington Capitals, Vegas is looking to cap off its best season in franchise history by bringing Lord Stanley to Sin City.
Florida Panthers (+105)
The Panthers have been on a Cinderella Story run these entire playoffs and they come into the finals with +105 odds. After winning the Presidents’ Trophy in 2021-22, the Panthers finished 17th overall in the NHL standings this season and snuck into the playoffs by just one point. Florida has lost just one game since knocking out the Boston Bruins during the first round in seven games. Overall, they are 12-4.
Conn Smythe Trophy odds (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Sergei Bobrovsky: +200
Matthew Tkachuk: +360
Jack Eichel: +400
Jonathan Marchessault: +650
Sergei Bobrovsky and Matthew Tkachuk are the two frontrunners to win the Conn Smythe Trophy for the Panthers. Bobrovsky is having one of the best goaltending performances in NHL playoff history, owning an 11-2 record and a .935 SV%. He’s rightfully earned his contract in Florida and looks like the two-time Vezina Trophy winner that was seen before. If the Panthers don’t win the Stanley Cup, Bobrovsky will still be a contender for the Conn Smythe and can be the first player since Jean-Sebastien Giguere in 2003 to win the trophy without winning the Stanley Cup.
Tkachuk has been just as crucial for the Panthers. With 21 points in 16 games, he’s stepped up when needed at any moment, just like every Hart Trophy candidate should. With his dominant performances this postseason, Tkachuk has become one of, if not, the face of the NHL. He could also become the first American to win the Conn Smythe since Patrick Kane in 2013.
In his first-ever postseason, Jack Eichel has been electric for Vegas. With 18 points in 17 games, he’s making every shift count. He didn’t score a goal in the Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Stars, which shows the depth that Vegas owns.
Jonathan Marchessault didn’t score a goal in the first seven games of the playoffs, but in the last 10 games, he’s scored nine goals. Marchessault has been a crucial part of Vegas’ offense ever since he was selected in the expansion draft. Expect him to give his former team a problem during the series.
Stanley Cup Finals Specials (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Matthew Tkachuk to record 3+ shots on goal in every game (+350)
Jack Eichel to record 3+ shots on goal in every game (+440)
Matthew Tkachuk to record 1+ points in every game (+730)
Jack Eichel to record 1+ point in every game (+820)
Matthew Tkachuk to score 1+ overtime goal (+980)
Series Schedule and How to Watch
All Stanley Cup Finals games will be broadcasted on TNT.
Game 1: Florida at Vegas – Saturday, June 3, 8 p.m.
Game 2: Florida at Vegas – Monday, June 5, 8 p.m.
Game 3: Vegas at Florida – Thursday, June 8, 8 p.m.
Game 4: Vegas at Florida – Saturday, June 10, 8 p.m.
Game 5: Florida at Vegas – Tuesday, June 13, 8 p.m. (if necessary)
Game 6: Vegas at Florida – Friday, June 16, 8 p.m. (if necessary)
Game 7: Florida at Vegas – Monday, June 19, 8 p.m. (if necessary)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez