Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.
California News

Panthers confident Sergei Bobrovsky will rebound in Game 3 – Orange County Register


SUNRISE, Fla. — Sergei Bobrovsky appeared in the Stanley Cup Final as the best goaltender in hockey.

He has supported the Florida Panthers to the Finals by winning 11 of his last 12 games and stopping 438 of 465 shots in that span, for a 1.95 goals-against-average and save percentage of 0.942. In two losses to the Vegas Golden Knights before being pulled midway through Game 2 on Monday night, Bobrovsky allowed eight goals in just under 87 minutes of action for a 5.52 GAA and save percentage. of 0.826.

Despite all of this, and because of everything he’s done to get eighth-seeded Florida through to the Eastern Conference playoffs, coach Paul Maurice expresses a lot of confidence in ‘Bob’. for Game 3 on Thursday.

“He was very, very good in the first game,” Maurice said on Tuesday. “I thought Sergei was like our team (in Game 2): I thought we were just a bit behind. We didn’t give him a chance. He may not have calmed the game down early for us when we needed him to be calmed down by the goalkeeper, but I have full confidence in what he will be able to do in Game 3 . »

Maurice released Bobrovsky in favor of Alex Lyon after allowing four goals on 13 shots in what turned into a 7-2 loss in Game 2 that put Florida down 2-0 in the best of seven series. He said afterwards he would ‘sweat’ his goaltending decision until later in the week – but also praised Bobrovsky for being amazing all playoffs and added that the hook was made for give the 34-year-old veteran a rest.

That’s near the most hockey games Bobrovsky has played in his 13 NHL seasons, including twice winning the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender. It’s by far his longest playoff streak: 16 appearances with 15 starts and 11 wins to his credit.

Games 1 and 2 of the Finals were the first time he allowed four goals in consecutive playoff games.

“Bob was our best player,” forward Anton Lundell said. “He’s a huge, huge part of our team. We can still trust him, but we need to help him more. We have to play better defense. Too many chances for him.

Since Bobrovsky, the Panthers have to be much better to get back in this series. Although it looked a bit shaky at the start of Game 2, the goals followed a familiar recipe: pucks fired through screens or after Golden Knights players got past the Florida defense and on their own.

“We can be a little better in front of our goaltender,” said Maurice.

It doesn’t help the Panthers that they could be without several big players in the franchise’s first home playoff game since 1996.

Finnish center Eetu Luostarinen is “not ready to play yet” after missing the first two games of the series, Maurice said, and towering defender Radko Gudas is a major question mark. Gudas was hurt early in Game 2 when he tried to hit Vegas big forward Ivan Barbashev and instead took the brunt of the contact.

Maurice had no update on either player, but also pointed out that the Panthers won a playoff game earlier in this run after losing captain Aleksander Barkov to injury minutes later and had the capacity to resist absences.

“It’s the story of the playoffs for every team: there will be guys who will fall,” Maurice said. “But it’s an opportunity. … There’s that for those players (who come in).

Sometimes in the playoffs it was journeyman forward Zac Dalpe. Underused defenseman Casey Fitzgerald became the seventh defenseman in Game 2. If Gudas can’t go, Dalpe and Fitzgerald could both be in the lineup.


Adin Hill heard the fans chanting his name after one big save after another. He tried not to listen too carefully.

After all, many in the crowd almost certainly didn’t know who Hill was just a few months ago. An unsung 27-year-old fellow goaltender is now famous because his game is a big reason the Vegas Golden Knights are two games away from winning the Stanley Cup.

On Thursday night, Hill will return to the arena he was drafted from eight years ago — the fifth goaltender chosen, 76th overall in 2015 — as a playoff starter who has come of age since entering the second round. He has since gone 9-3, allowing just over two goals per game and posting an NHL-best save percentage of .937 in the playoffs. Paid $2.7 million a year, Hill has beaten two-time Vezina Trophy winner and $10 million a season goaltender Bobrovsky so far in the Finals.

He also has one of the best plays in the Finals so far, a spectacular stick save in Game 1.

“It’s probably the most fun I’ve ever had playing hockey,” Hill said. “I’m just enjoying it, cherishing every day. … I just live in the moment, and it’s been fun. It’s been great to be part of the journey with this team.

The trip wouldn’t be possible without Hill, who in the final alone repelled 62 of 66 shots.

As Bobrovsky got the hook early in Game 2, Hill was quick with a jab. Nick Cousins ​​and Matthew Tkachuk of Florida both received a blocker to the head while skating in the Hill Panhandle.

Hill even punched Tkachuk out of Game 2. It’s his way of telling his defenders that they don’t always have to defend him when opponents encroach on his space, a glimpse of the Hill’s anger that usually only surfaces for a second or two when he’s playing video games.

“If the guys go to the net and everything, you have to defend your position,” Hill said. “Our team all year, we have been disciplined but we will defend each other.”

Discipline has been an issue for the Panthers so far in the Finals. They took 25 penalties, including nine fouls and one for abuse of officials.

Maurice said his side’s loss in Game 2 “was not a disciplinary issue” as most of the time in the penalty area came after the scoreline was lopsided. Florida can’t afford to be so shorthanded, especially with the Golden Knights’ power play.

The Panthers are yet to score a power-play goal in the series, and that’s partly thanks to Hill. He made four saves in quick succession early in Game 2, which turned the tide of the game and allowed Vegas to pounce and take a lead.

Remembering that Hill had kept the puck out of the net during the penalty kill, teammate William Carrier was at a loss for words.

“It’s hard to say,” Carrier said. “He’s been amazing for us since he came back. He worked hard at the end of the season there when he got injured. It was unreal for us.

Hill wasn’t even dressed for the first round due to an injury that occurred in early March. Laurent Brossoit started Vegas’ first eight playoff games before suffering an injury early in Game 3 against Edmonton, pushing Hill into the lead role.

He’s quick to say a lot of his success is down to the team in front of him, and that’s thanks to first-year coach Bruce Cassidy’s design. His self-proclaimed goalie-friendly system allowed the Golden Knights to finish atop the Western Conference with five different players at net — and win.

“I feel like we want to be a multi-level hockey team and protect our goaltender from high-level chances all the time,” Cassidy said Tuesday. “But there are going to be, and (Hill has) been there every step of the way.”

Dating back to his time with Arizona and San Jose, Hill expressed quiet confidence to his teammates in his ability to consistently win at this level. This run proved it, even if the sixth-year NHL veteran didn’t doubt himself.

“I feel like it’s more ‘proving it’ to my teammates and other people,” Hill said. “Things that I’ve been working on for five, six years that could finally fall into place.”

AP Sports Writer Mark Anderson in Las Vegas contributed.

California Daily Newspapers

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.

Back to top button