Golden Knights blast Panthers 9-3 in Game 5 to capture first Stanley Cup title

by Sophia Chen
Stanley Cup championship

Golden Knights Dominate Panthers 9-3 in Game 5, Securing First Stanley Cup Title

The Golden Knights are renowned for their captivating performances, rivaling the spectacles on the famous Las Vegas Strip. With their sword-wielding mascot leading the way, a legion of players marches onto the ice through a mirrored entrance, igniting the roaring crowd.

If ever there was a team that would clinch the Stanley Cup in true Vegas style, it would be the Knights.

True to form, the Knights delivered a dazzling performance, showcasing incredible passes and a remarkable hat trick by Mark Stone. Their all-out celebrations after each goal culminated in a resounding 9-3 victory over the battered and exhausted Florida Panthers on Tuesday night, securing the young franchise’s first-ever championship.

Head coach Bruce Cassidy, acknowledging the Knights’ brief but impactful history, strategically started five of the original Vegas players, known as the Misfits, and sent the sixth player onto the ice during the second shift. Cassidy expressed confidence in his team’s abilities prior to the game, and his faith was rewarded as the Knights dominated, turning a one-goal game into a commanding 6-1 lead during the second period. Their nine goals equaled the record for the most goals scored in a Cup Final.

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NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman expressed awe at the electrifying atmosphere both inside and outside the arena, praising Vegas as a remarkable hockey market.

With a convincing win in Game 5, Vegas sealed the series in just five games, with a delirious record-breaking crowd of 19,058 fans at T-Mobile Arena, drowning out the pregame introductions and cheering until the final buzzer.

Marchessault, who ended the postseason with a 10-game points streak, received the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our team and our organization,” Marchessault declared. “Everyone stepped up at different times, and that’s why we’re champions.”

Stone’s hat trick, including a final goal into an empty net with 5:54 left, marked the first hat trick in a Stanley Cup Final since Colorado’s Peter Forsberg achieved the feat in 1996 against the Panthers as well.

The Knights showcased their offensive prowess with goals from Nic Hague, Alec Martinez, Reilly Smith, Michael Amadio, Ivan Barbashev, and Nicolas Roy. Martinez’s goal in the second period occurred exactly nine years after he scored the double-overtime game-winning goal in Game 5 to secure the cup for the Los Angeles Kings.

Hill delivered another outstanding performance, making 31 saves and solidifying his status as a fan favorite among the Knights faithful, earning chants of “MVP! MVP!” in the third period. Jack Eichel, an eight-year veteran experiencing his first postseason, contributed three assists.

Eichel expressed his delight, stating, “This is what everyone dreams of. When you come to an organization like this, the expectation is to win it all. It’s a special place to play.”

As team captain, Stone was the first to hoist the cup, passing it on to each of the six Misfits for their moment of triumph before it circulated throughout the team.

“Unbelievable,” exclaimed Stone. “The look in my teammates’ eyes when I held it was one of the most incredible feelings I’ve ever experienced. I can’t even describe the excitement in my stomach right now. It’s everything you could imagine.”

Florida managed to score through Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart, and Sam Bennett, while Sergei Bobrovsky struggled, conceding eight goals on 30 shots on goal, following his exceptional performances that propelled Florida to the final. Notably absent from the lineup was star forward Matthew Tkachuk, who played injured in Game 4.

“It was an honor for me to play with them and fight alongside them,” Bobrovsky reflected. “Losing in such a manner and ending the season this way is undoubtedly tough. But we’ve done an incredible job, and I want to hold on to that.”

The Knights have set a high standard for expansion franchises, reaching the Cup Final in their inaugural season and qualifying for the playoffs every year except one. Six players remain from the original 2017-18 team that fell to the Washington Capitals in five games during the final.

That fateful night, those players watched the Capitals celebrate with the Stanley Cup, fueling their determination. Now, they had the chance to do the same, fulfilling owner Bill Foley’s quest to secure the championship within six years.

“We waited a long time for this moment to come back,” Marchessault declared. “We wanted to make sure we made the most of it this time.”

This victory marks Las Vegas’ second professional championship in nine months, following the WNBA title won by the Aces in September. The city’s sports scene has experienced remarkable growth, expanding beyond boxing, UNLV athletics, NASCAR, and golf since the Golden Knights took the city by storm. The Raiders began playing in Las Vegas in 2020, the Oakland Athletics are on the verge of relocating to the desert, a Formula One race is set to take place this year, and Allegiant Stadium will host the Super Bowl in February.

The Knights’ connection to Las Vegas has been cemented since the tragic shooting on October 1, 2017, which claimed the lives of 60 individuals. They played an integral role in helping the city heal, actively engaging with the community off the ice while achieving monumental success on it.

By defeating the Panthers, the Knights justified the numerous roster changes made by the management over the years. Acquisitions of standout players such as Stone, Eichel, and Alex Pietrangelo played a crucial role in reaching this pinnacle.

Cassidy, hired just a week after being dismissed by the Boston Bruins last year, proved to be the coach capable of leading them to victory.

“He came in with an intensity that our locker room needed,” Stone acknowledged. “He wanted to win just as badly as anyone else in that room.”

Cassidy’s adept coaching propelled the Knights to become the top seed in the Western Conference and eventually clinch the NHL championship.

“It’s an incredible story—I’m extremely grateful for this second opportunity,” Cassidy expressed. “I’m here to do my job, and it turned out well.”

The Knights also triumphed with an unexpected hero in Hill, who was injured at the start of the playoffs. Laurent Brossoit initially took on the starting role but suffered an injury in Game 3 of the second-round series against the Edmonton Oilers, granting Hill his chance.

“As a child, you dream about this every day,” Hill revealed. “To be here with this group of guys, in this city, in this arena, is a dream come true.”

AP NHL playoffs: https://bigbignews.net/stanley-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Stanley Cup championship

Q: How did the Vegas Golden Knights secure their first Stanley Cup title?

A: The Vegas Golden Knights secured their first Stanley Cup title by dominating the Florida Panthers with a 9-3 victory in Game 5. They delivered a dazzling performance, showcasing impressive goals and record-breaking scoring. Led by head coach Bruce Cassidy, the team displayed Vegas flash and captured their first championship in a remarkable display of skill and teamwork.

Q: Who was named the playoff MVP?

A: Jonathan Marchessault was named the playoff MVP and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for his outstanding performance throughout the postseason. Marchessault’s consistent contributions and a 10-game points streak played a crucial role in the Golden Knights’ success on their journey to the Stanley Cup.

Q: How did the Vegas Golden Knights establish themselves as an expansion franchise?

A: The Vegas Golden Knights quickly established themselves as a remarkable expansion franchise by reaching the Stanley Cup Final in their very first season. Since then, they have consistently made the playoffs, with their strong performances and high expectations setting a new standard for expansion teams in the NHL.

Q: What impact did the Vegas Golden Knights have on the city of Las Vegas?

A: The Vegas Golden Knights had a profound impact on the city of Las Vegas, serving as a source of unity and healing after the tragic shooting in 2017. They actively engaged with the community off the ice and inspired their fans with their on-ice success. The team’s achievements, along with the addition of other professional sports teams and events, have contributed to the stunning growth of the sports market in Las Vegas.

Q: Who were the key players for the Vegas Golden Knights in their Stanley Cup victory?

A: The Vegas Golden Knights had several key players who played crucial roles in their Stanley Cup victory. Mark Stone showcased his talent with a memorable hat trick, while Jonathan Marchessault’s consistent performance earned him the playoff MVP title. Additionally, goaltender Adin Hill impressed with his strong saves, earning him the status of a fan favorite.

Q: How did the Vegas Golden Knights’ victory impact the expectations for the team and the organization?

A: The Vegas Golden Knights’ victory in the Stanley Cup solidified the high expectations for the team and the organization. With their early success and winning the championship, the franchise has set a standard for excellence and will continue to be a competitive force in the NHL. The victory affirms the team’s commitment to success and further strengthens their position as a prominent team in the league.

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Knights4Life June 14, 2023 - 6:50 am

VEGAS STRONG! the golden knights did it again! i still remembr their first season, reachin the final and now they won it all. so proud of the team. go knights go!

HockeyFan123 June 14, 2023 - 9:18 am

wow! vegas golden knights finally won the stanly cup! they played amazin game 9-3. i wuz rootin 4 them all season. so happy they did it!

SportsEnthusiast27 June 14, 2023 - 7:32 pm

What an unbelievable game! The golden knights were on fire with their goal celebrations and Mark Stone’s hat trick. Their journey from an expansion franchise to stanley cup champs is truly inspiring. congrats to vegas!

GoKnightsGo June 15, 2023 - 12:10 am

man, this is epic! vegas is takin over the sports world. stanley cup champions and the raiders in town. love how the golden knights brought the city together after that awful shooting. go knights go, forever!

HockeyLover22 June 15, 2023 - 1:08 am

Marchessault deserved that conn smythe trophy. he was on fire throughout the playoffs. also gotta give props to coach bruce cassidy for leading the knights to the cup. amazing win for the team and the city of las vegas!


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