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

The games of the Golden Knights have always been as flashy as the vibrant shows on the Las Vegas Strip. The team's sword-fighting mascot...

The games of the Golden Knights have always been as flashy as the vibrant shows on the Las Vegas Strip. The team's sword-fighting mascot takes the ice, leading a legion of players who march out through a mirrored entrance to the deafening roar of the crowd.

If there was ever a team destined to win the Stanley Cup, it had to be the Knights, with their signature Vegas flash.

And that's exactly what they delivered in a dazzling fashion—stunning passes, Mark Stone's hat trick, and exuberant goal celebrations. They secured the young franchise's first championship with a resounding 9-3 victory over the battered and fatigued Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.

In a nod to the Knights' short but remarkable history, coach Bruce Cassidy started five of the original Vegas players, fondly known as the Misfits, and placed the sixth player on the second shift. Cassidy displayed confidence in his team's abilities the day before the game, and his faith was justified as they dominated the contest, turning a one-goal game into a commanding 6-1 lead in the second period. The Knights' nine goals tied the record for the most goals scored in a Stanley Cup Final.

Addressing the crowd, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman exclaimed, "Vegas, you certainly know how to throw a party. What's happening both inside and outside this arena is incredible and a testament to what a great hockey market this is."

The series concluded in just five games, as Vegas secured the cup before an ecstatic franchise-record crowd of 19,058 at T-Mobile Arena. The audience drowned out the pregame introductions with thunderous cheers and remained engaged until the final buzzer. Jonathan Marchessault, who concluded the postseason with a 10-game points streak, was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for being the most valuable player of the playoffs.

"I couldn't be prouder of our team and our organization," Marchessault expressed. "Every player stepped up at different times, and that's why we're champions."

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

The Knights' additional goals came from Nic Hague, Alec Martinez, Reilly Smith, Michael Amadio, Ivan Barbashev, and Nicolas Roy. Martinez's goal in the second period fell on the exact nine-year anniversary of his double-overtime goal in Game 5, which secured the Los Angeles Kings' cup victory.

Adin Hill once again displayed an exceptional performance, making 31 saves and further solidifying his status as a fan favorite among the Knights faithful. Jack Eichel, in his first postseason appearance after eight years in the league, contributed with three assists and garnered chants of "MVP! MVP!" from the crowd in the third period.

Stone, as the team captain, was the first to hoist the coveted cup, passing it along to the six Misfits who each took their turn skating with the trophy before passing it down the line to their teammates.

"It's unbelievable," Stone expressed with emotion. "Seeing the look in my teammates' eyes when I lifted it—it's one of the craziest feelings I've ever experienced. I can't even describe the butterflies in my stomach right now. It's everything you can imagine."

Florida managed to score through goals by Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart, and Sam Bennett, but their efforts were overshadowed by the Knights' dominant performance. Sergei Bobrovsky, who had been instrumental in leading Florida to the final, struggled against Vegas once again, allowing eight goals on 30 shots on goal. Notably absent from the lineup was star forward Matthew



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