MIAMI — The tables turned in a couple ways during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Not only did the Florida Panthers finally get a win in the championship series, but Matthew Tkachuk was instrumental in the victory after leaving the game, later returning, then scoring a massive goal.
First, here's the hit on Tkachuk courtesy Vegas' Keegan Kolesar.
Tkachuk wasn't on the bench to begin the second period, but was able to return.
And that was good news for the Panthers, as their superstar winger tied the game in the third period.
Carter Verhaege scored in overtime to make the series 2-1 in favor of the Golden Knights.
If you recall, it was Matthew Tkachuk who leveled a massive hit on Jack Eichel in Game 2, causing the Vegas Golden Knights star center to leave the game for a brief period of time.
Eichel returned and set up a goal that put the brakes on a potential Florida Panthers comeback in that contest.
As noted on Locked on Panthers, Game 3 wasn't without its problems for Florida, beyond losing Tkachuk for a time. They took a bunch of penalties, gave up two power play goals, went 0 for 5 on their own power play opportunities, and were down 2-1 in the final frame.
If anyone believes Florida is never really out of it, though, it's Tkachuk.
"Everybody will probably say how they were leading most of game, which they were, but at the end of the day, nobody cares how we got here," Tkachuk said. "It's a 2-1 series. We came into this game just to win one game, and we did that, and we're going to do the exact same thing going into Game 4."
Tkachuk now has 24 points in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, one more than both Eichel and Jonathan Marchessault on the other team.