Panthers vs Golden Knights: NHL Stanley Cup Final Odds, Conn Smith MVP Odds, Schedule

Second time was the charm for the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Golden Knights, a recent expansion addition to the NHL (joined in 2017), reached the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season but lost in five games to the Washington Capitals.

Vegas reached the Finals again this season and defeated the Florida Panthers in five games to claim Lord Stanley's Chalice, supporting owner Bill Foley's prediction that the team would win the Stanley Cup in six years.

NBA's Milwaukee Bucks – led by Lew Alcindor (later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) won the title in their third season in 1971.

MLB's Arizona Diamondbacks won the 2001 World Series in their fourth season, and the then-Florida Marlins won it all in 1997 in their fifth season.

The surprising Panthers – the third No. 8 seed to reach the final – were playing in the Cup for the second time since joining the league in 1993.

Vegas was the top seed in the Western Conference with 111 points during the regular season, 19 more than Florida.

Series winner

Golden Knights: -2000 (Bet $10 to win a total of $10.50)
Panthers: +800 (bet $10 to win $90 total)

Head to Head Regular Season

Jan. 12: Golden Knights 4, Panthers 2
March 7: Panthers 2 at Golden Knights 1

Schedule, series scores (Vegas won 4-1):

Game 1: Golden Knights 5, Panthers 2
Game 2: Golden Knights 7, Panthers 2
Game 3: Panthers 3, Golden Knights 2 (OT)
Game 4: Golden Knights 3, Panthers 2
Game 5: Golden Knights 9, Panthers 3

The Panthers were hoping to become the second No. 8 seed to win the Stanley Cup in the current format, joining the Los Angeles Kings (2012).

Florida was no fluke to knock off the Boston Bruins 3-1 in the first round — heavy favorites to win it entering the postseason — then upset the favored Toronto Maple Leafs in the conference semifinals in five games.

Vegas used a strong second half to charge into the playoffs.

The Golden Knights were 29-18-4 and on a four-game skid going into the All-Star break.

Vegas has won five straight since the break en route to the Pacific Division title.

Heading into the season, Vegas (+2500) was a much longer shot to win the Cup than the Panthers (+900). Florida was +11000 after falling behind Boston 3-1 in the first round.

Here are the 10 previous Stanley Cup winners:

2022: Colorado Avalanche

2021: Tampa Bay Lightning

2020: Tampa Bay Lightning

2019: St. Louis Blues

2018: Washington Capitals

2017: Pittsburgh Penguins

2016: Pittsburgh Penguins

2015: Chicago Blackhawks

2014: Los Angeles Kings

2013: Chicago Blackhawks

Conn Smith Trophy odds

Vegas' Jonathan Marchessault won the Conn Smyth Trophy as his team's most valuable player in the playoffs.

Here are the top six betting favorites heading into Game 5:

Jonathan Marchessault, Golden Knights right wing: -500 (Bet $10 to win $12 total)
Adin Hill, Golden Knights Goalie: +1000 (Bet $10 to win $110 total)
Jack Eichel, Golden Knights Center: +1500 (Bet $10 to win $160 total)
Matthew Tkachuk, Panthers right wing: +1800 (bet $10 to win $190 total)
Mark Stone, Golden Knights Right Wing: +2000 (Bet $10 to win $210 total)
Sergei Bobrovsky, Panthers goalie: +2500 (Bet $10 to win $260 total)

Conn Smith has been the winner since 2013

2022 Cal Makar, Avalanche Protector
2021 Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning goalie
2020 Victor Hedman, Lightning defenseman
2019 Ryan O'Reilly, Blues Center
2018 Alexander Ovechkin, Capitals left wing
2017 Sidney Crosby, Penguins Center
2016 Sidney Crosby, Penguins Center
2015 Duncan Keith, Blackhawks defenseman
2014 Justin Williams, Kings right wing
2013 Patrick Kane, Blackhawks right wing
2012 Jonathan Quick, Kings goalkeeper

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