The Florida Panthers got a much-needed shot in the arm Thursday night, as they finally won a game in the 2023 Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights. They also cut their series deficit down in half while preventing themselves from falling into a 0-3 series scenario.
Like most other Panthers players and fans, forward Aleksander Barkov has been left with his feelings going the roof after Florida scored the 3-2 overtime win over the Golden Knights.
“I’ve been here a long time, and this is the best time in my life right now, Barkov told reporters in the Panthers locker room following the win (via Jameson Olive). “To play in front of that crowd and to battle for something that I’ve been dreaming of since I was born is huge. To be a Florida Panther right now, I’m really proud of that.”
Florida's win in Game 3 was another proof that the Panthers are made of unbreakable material. The Panthers could have been down 0-3, as they looked as though they were on their way to another loss. They were trailing the Golden Knights, 2-1, with a little over two minutes in regulation, but Matthew Tkachuk saved the day for the Panthers with a game-tying goal. In overtime, Carter Verhaeghe, who assisted on that Tkachuk goal, brought the house down by lighting the lamp to give Florida its first win in the series.
With newfound momentum, the Panthers will look to go back-to-back and tie the series up in Game 4 on Saturday at home in Sunrise.