Golden Knights
Members of the Vegas Golden Knights pose with the Stanley Cup after the Knights defeated the Florida Panthers 9-3 in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals Tuesday, June 13, 2023, in Las Vegas. The Knights won the series 4-1. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Golden Knights Win Stanley Cup

The Las Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Florida Panthers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals 9-3. With the win, the Golden Knights captured their first Stanley Cup in franchise history after joining the league in 2018.

Las Vegas

The Golden Knights dominated throughout the series, outscoring the Panthers 26-12. Despite losing Game 3 in overtime, Las Vegas quickly rebounded and won the next two games.

Tuesday’s game saw Vegas secure the cup with two goals in the opening frame, four in the second and three more in the third.

Mark Stone of the Knights became the fourth player in NHL history to complete a hat trick in a Stanley Cup Finals victory.

Golden Knights goalie Adin Hill played brilliantly the entire series, becoming the only goalie to miss the team’s first round of play and go on to win 11 of his first 16 games. In the NHL Playoffs, Hill recorded .932 save percentage.

Since Wayne Gretzky, Jonathan Marchessault is the only undrafted player to win the Stanley Cup Playoffs MVP award. With 13 postseason goals, he led the league in the category. Additionally, he finished second in the league with 25 points in the playoffs. Marchessault is one of the six Golden Knights players from the inaugural squad.

He said the victory was a team effort.

After losing to the Washington Capitals at home in the 2018 Finals, Vegas finally hoisted the Stanley Cup.

Magical Run

Despite having an amazing postseason, the Panthers were unable to achieve the fairytale ending. At the end of the season, the Finals were a goal that many didn’t believe the squad could accomplish. Florida was the last team to clinch a spot in the postseason.

In the postgame press conference, Panthers head coach Paul Maurice commented on the team’s special year.

It was a playoff that saw Florida go down 3-1 in round one against the No. 1 seed Boston Bruins but storm back to shock the NHL. The second round saw the Panthers beat the No. 4 seed Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1, and sweep the No. 2 seed Carolina Hurricanes. They also won their first ever Stanley Cup game after being swept in the team’s first finals in 1996. The Panthers won seven games in overtime and eight on the road in the playoffs.

The Panthers struggled with injuries throughout the postseason and faced a particular obstacle in the championship series. Defenseman Aaron Ekblad was playing with a broken foot, had popped his shoulder out twice, tore his oblique, and captain Matthew Tkachuk was playing with a fractured sternum, according to Maurice. Following surgery, Maurice thinks certain players might not be ready to start the upcoming season.

 

Future For Both Teams

The Golden Knights aim to become the first NHL team to win consecutive Stanley Cups since the 2020–21 Tampa Bay Lightning and the 17th overall. Florida, on the other hand, intends to fight back and attempt to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

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