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2023 Stanley Cup Final

It’s Over: Vegas Golden Knights Beat Florida Panthers for Stanley Cup



Vegas stanley cup
Members of the Vegas Golden Knights celebrate a goal Mark Stone’s second-period goal as members of the Florida Panthers look away during Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Tuesday night. (AP Photo/John Locher)

The wild ride the Florida Panthers enjoyed over the past two months came to an end on the Las Vegas Strip on Tuesday night as the Golden Knights laid claim to the Stanley Cup with an 9-3 blowout win in Game 5 of the Final.

Florida ended up beating Boston, Toronto and Carolina en route to its first trip to the Cup Final since 1996 but Vegas proved too much to handle.

From the third period of Game 1 through a blowout in Game 2, the Golden Knights was the better team for much of the series and earned the Stanley Cup in just their sixth year of existence.

Florida was playing in a must-win game Tuesday and had to do so without star forward Matthew Tkachuk as he sat out with the injury which slowed him in Game 4.

The Panthers had a number of chances to tie that game in the final seconds on Saturday night but could not do so.

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Tuesday, they fell behind by multiple goals on numerous occasions and went into the third down three after Vegas pinned Florida in and scored a pair of quick goals in the second.

Down 2-0 going into the second, Aaron Ekblad gave the Panthers life with a fluttering wrist shot that beat Adin Hill at 2:15 of the period.

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But then Vegas’ unrelenting assault turned into goals from Alec Martinez and Reilly Smith to make it 4-1 before Mark Stone put the finishing touches on this one as he got his second goal of the night with 2:45 remaining.

Any hope of the Panthers making a big third period comeback ended when Michael Amadio knocked a loose one past Sergei Bobrovsky with 1.2 seconds left.

The third period was played just because of the rules say it had to be with Sam Reinhart getting a goal right after Ivan Barbashev scored for the Knights.

Bennett then got his first of the Final by running one in off of Alex Pietrangelo with 8:21 remaining.

The Panthers depth — or lack thereof — came into focus in this series as Vegas simply overwhelmed Florida at times.

That will be addressed in the offseason, which believe it or not, starts now.

The NHL Draft is less than two weeks away with free agency opening up on July 1.

Conversation for another time, sure.

Or on Wednesday.

For now, enjoy what the Panthers did this postseason as it was simply amazing.

Florida rallied from a 3-1 deficit to knock off the Presidents’ Trophy winning Bruins before steamrolling Toronto and Carolina to reach the Cup Final.

But the way the Panthers went out on Tuesday was hard to watch.

Vegas fans were celebrating their championship from midway through the second period all the way to the end.

This is one party in Vegas that is going to rage for a long time.


  • Vegas 1, Florida 0 (11:52 SH, 1st): Mark Stone drove in on a 2-on-1 after a Florida turnover while on the power play, slowed and beat Sergei Bobrovsky to give the Knights an early lead.
  • Vegas 2, Florida 0 (13:41, 1st): Another turnover led to Jack Eichel getting a shot on Bobrovsky. Although it looked like Bobrovsky stopped the initial shot, the puck got loose and Nicolas Hague got it through.
  • Vegas 2, Florida 1 (2:15, 2nd): Aaron Ekblad flies a shot from the point that finds its way through traffic and beats Adin Hill to give the Panthers hope.
  • Vegas 3, Florida 1 (10:28, 2nd): Alec Martinez takes a nice feed from Jack Eichel off the rush and scores from the right circle.
  • Vegas 4, Florida 1 (12:13, 2nd): The Panthers get beat on a line change and Reilly Smith makes them pay for it.
  • Vegas 5, Florida 1 (17:15, 2nd): Stone gets his second of the night, this time on a one-timer from the left circle.
  • Vegas 6, Florida 1 (19:58, 2nd): To add insult to injury, Michael Amadio gets a loose puck past Bobrovsky with 1.2 seconds left in another dominant second period for the Golden Knights.
  • Vegas 7, Florida 1 (8:22, 3rd): Ivan Barbashev follows up another Eichel rebound and beats Bobrovsky.
  • Vegas 7, Florida 2 (8:47, 3rd): Sam Reinhart takes a quick pass from Sam Bennett and lets one fly from 40 feet out.
  • Vegas 7, Florida 3 (11:39, 3rd): Bennett fires one that goes off of Alex Pietrangelo to bring Florida within four.
  • Vegas 8, Florida 3 (14:06, 3rd): An empty-net hat trick for Stone.
  • Vegas 9, Florida 3 (18:58, 3rd): Nicolas Roy knocks in a loose puck with Bobrovsky down on the ice.


1. Mark Stone, Vegas

2. Jack Eichel, Vegas

3. Alec Martinez, Vegas


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