Pulling their goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky, for an extra skater,the Florida Panthers made a late push for the tying goal in Game 4. Despite dealing with an injury, Panthers star Mathew Tkachuk joined the game in an attempt to score, as he did in Game 3. When the Golden Knights’ Alex Pietrangelo was called for a delay of game,the Panthers’ 6-on-5 advantage turned into a 6-on-4. Even though the clock had hit 0:00, Golden Knights’ goalie Asin Hill made a crucial save on Tkachuk’s shot to score a 3:2 victory.
Leading to punches and a tussle,a scuffle broke out between Vegas’ William Karlsson and Florida’s Sam Bennett. Hill got involved in the confrontation in front of the net before Tkachuk slashed and yelled at Pietrangelo, who had just come out of the penalty box. Potentially making the Panthers’ final home game of the series when fans threw objects onto the ice.
During the scuffle, a total of 28 minutes of penalties were handed out, including unsportsmanlike conduct, charging, and misconduct calls. Tkachuk, the Panthers’ leading scorer, received a misconduct penalty in the series for the fourth time. The Vegas Golden Knights secured a Game 4 victory, resulting in a heated skirmish as players dropped their gloves and threw punches.
The Panthers had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds but were unable to convert, leading to a scrum in front of the net. The Panthers displayed resilience and fought until the last second,earning respect from Golden Knights forward Nicolas Roy. During the altercation, six penalties, including two for unsportsmanlike conduct and two for misconducts were issued.
Hill, emphasizing that there was no specific message being sent, described his involvement in the scuffle as an attempt to help his teammates. Tkachuk’s presence and physical style have been part of Florida’s strategy to challenge the Golden Knights, but it has not been successful thus far. Florida’s physicality has resulted in numerous power-play opportunities for Vegas. The Panthers face mounting injuries and penalty minutes, adding to their challenges as the series shifts back to South Florida.
Since 1986, Tkachuk’s aggressive play has led to him entering the top 10 list for most penalty minutes in a Stanley Cup Final series. The aim of Tkachuk is to break Mel Bridgman’s record for the most penalty minutes in a Stanley Cup Final series, set in 1979–80. Through the four games of the series, Tkachuk has already accumulated five minor penalties and four misconducts. In Game 1, Tkachuk received a 10-minute misconduct for punching Golden Knights defenseman Nicolas Hague after the play ended.
Tkachuk’s first misconduct came after a big hit on Jack Eichel in Game 2, resulting in extracurricular activities. Emphasizing the unpredictable nature of the playoffs, Tkachuk defended his hit. The second misconduct by Tkachuk in Game 2 occurred when he knocked the stick out of Vegas center Michael Amadio’s hand.
Tkachuk’s limited playing time contributed to the intense brawl at the end of the game in Game 4, resulting in penalties for slashing and unsportsmanlike conduct. The presence of Tkachuk in the altercation further highlighted the frustration felt by the Panthers in their attempt. Both teams now focus on Game 5 as they continue their quest for the Stanley Cup, despite the physicality and penalties.