The Vegas Golden Knights capture the first Stanley Cup in a 9-3 win over the Florida Panthers in Game 5


Stone’s hat-trick, with the third from an empty goal with 5:54 remaining, was the first in a Stanley Cup final since Colorado’s Peter Forsberg in 1996, also against the Panthers.

The Knights got the rest of their scoring from Nic Hague, Alec Martinez, Reilly Smith, Michael Amadio, Ivan Barbashev and Nicolas Roy. Martinez’s goal came in the second half nine years a day after he scored the double goal in overtime in Game 5 to give the Los Angeles Kings the cup.

Hill turned in another great performance that quickly made him a fan favorite for the Knights, even winning “MVP! MVPs!” songs in the third time. Jack Eichel, the eight-year pro playing in his first postseason, had three assists.

Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart and Sam Bennett all scored for Florida, and Sergei Bobrovsky was overwhelmed in another tough performance against Las Vegas after leading Florida to the final. Missing from the lineup was Matthew Tkachuk, the king of game-winners during the playoffs, but he was never the same after a crushing blow to the shoulder by Las Vegas’ Keegan Kolesar in Game 3.

The Knights have set the standard for what an expansion franchise should look like, reaching the Cup Final in their first season and the playoffs in all but one year. Six players remain from the 2017-18 starting squad who lost in five games to the Washington Capitals in the end.

Those players watched the Capitals skate to the Stanley Cup that night, and then got a chance to do the same Tuesday to fulfill owner Bill Foley’s quest to win the championship in the sixth year.

Creating such a high standard early on, the Knights played to high expectations, but repeatedly fell short despite four runs until at least the NHL semifinals, until Game 5 against the Panthers.

This is Las Vegas’ second professional title in nine months: the The Aces claimed the WNBA championship in September, and continues the impressive growth of a sports market that was largely limited to prizefighting, UNLV track and field, NASCAR and plenty of golf before the Golden Knights took the city by storm. He The Raiders started playing here in 2020he The Oakland A’s seem headed for the desertLas Vegas will host a Formula One race this year and the The Super Bowl will be at Allegiant Stadium in February.

As for the Knights, their connection to Las Vegas has been sealed since the Oct. 1, 2017 shooting that claimed 60 lives. They played an integral role in helping the city heal, reaching out to the community off the ice and winning big.

Beating Florida justified the many moves Knights management made to remake the roster over the years. Stone, Eichel and Alex Pietrangelo are the most notable players Vegas has acquired to get to this point.

and cassidy, hired a week after being fired by the Boston Bruins last yearhe proved to be just the coach to get them there, seemingly pushing all the right buttons to help Vegas become the top seed in the Western Conference and then the NHL champion.

The Knights also won the title with a unlikely goalkeeper on hill, who was injured when the playoffs began. Laurent Brossoit was a starter until leave with a wound in Game 3 of the second-round series against the Edmonton Oilers, and then Hill got his chance.

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