Vegas hockey players defeated Florida in the opening final

Vegas hockey players defeated Florida in the opening final

Hockeyisté Vegas defeated Florida in the water final

Hockey players of the Vegas Golden Knights team celebrate the victory in the first final game of the overseas NHL playoffs, June 3, 2023, Las Vegas.

Las Vegas – Vegas hockey players beat Florida 5:2 at home in the opening game of the NHL playoff final. Jack Eichel (0+2) and Shea Theodore (1+1) each scored two points. Defender Radko Gudas, who can become the 30th Czech in history to win the Stanley Cup, did not score in the jersey of the defeated team.

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The visiting Panthers took the lead in the 10th minute when Eric Staal weakened. In the 18th minute, Jonathan Marchessault equalized on a power play, Shea Theodore converted the score in the middle of the game. Anthony Duclair equalized at the end of the second half. Back Zach Whitecloud scored the winning goal in the 47th minute, then captain Mark Stone and Reilly Smith scored on the final power play. Florida lost after five games and even after eight on the road.

The Golden Knights' second game back on the ice is scheduled for Tuesday night from 2:00 CEST.

One of the teams wins the Stanley Cup for the first time. Both failed in their previous final appearance – Vegas lost to Washington in 2018 in the premiership among the elite, and Florida lost to Colorado in 1996. In the extended squad of the Nevada team is the goalkeeper Jiří Patera, who in his debut in the NHL this season caught two duels and would have to be on the match roster in the finals to be included among the trophy holders.

“It feels good to win the first game, but on the other hand, we're far from over. We still have three wins to go,” said Theodore, one of six who witnessed the final defeat to the Capitals. Also then, Vegas won the first game of the final playoff series, but did not manage the next four.

“Florida will push us in the second game. We played great. Now we have to rest and do it again,” said goalkeeper Adin Hill, who caught 33 Florida shots and was named the third star of the night.

The Panthers got off to a better start and struck in the 10th minute on a breakaway. Eric Staal circled the goal and opened the scoring with goalie Hill's stick. The 2006 Stanley Cup winner with Carolina celebrated his 100th start in the NHL playoffs in style. Subsequently, his teammate Tkachuk hit the post on the power play.

In another numerical advantage at the end of the opening act, the Golden Knights have already established themselves. Captain Stones initially missed Sergei Bobrovsky from close range, but moments later Stephenson found Marchessault's finish from the back post between the circles. The Canadian striker scored in the sixth game in a row.

At the beginning of the middle part, after a quick combination, Cousins ​​got to the end, and the goal was open in front of him, but Hill prevented the puck from going into the net with his stick, and Pietrangelo blocked the visiting striker's shot.

“I was on the ice, so (Hill) saved me. I'm sure his save will be around for a long time. It was an incredible save and an important moment,” Eichel said. “An incredible save, it changed the game. You need such saves in key moments,” added Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy with praise.

In the middle of the match, the Nevada team completed a turnover. Quarterback Theodore got rid of the offensive blue Duclair, skated to the center and scored the first hit in this year's playoffs with a shot to the post. “I wanted a goal because I didn't score in the previous playoffs. I timed it well,” stated Theodore.

At the end of the middle 20 minutes, Panthers captain Barkov and after him defender Montour hit the post. Florida finally equalized 11 seconds before the second locker room. Barkov won the throw-in, and Duclair caught Hill off guard with a quick shot.

In the 47th minute, Vegas bounced back for good, after Whitecloud headed straight for the post. In the next seven minutes, Stone intercepted Tkachuk's layup between the hoops and put a shot under the crossbar to give the Golden Knights a two-goal lead. Panthers coach Maurice still took a coaching challenge, as the home captain knocked the puck out of the air with an apparently high stick, but the referees recognized the goal.

At the end of the duel, the judges handed out four ten-minute penalties, three of which were given to Florida players, including Gudas. The fight could still be dramatized by Reinhart, whose independent escape in weakening was caught by Hill. Smith then set up the final score with an empty-net goal.

“We can improve on a lot of things on both ends of the rink. We'll take some things apart,” Eric Staal said. “It's only the first game. The series will be long. We have to learn and move on,” added Bobrovsky.

Vegas Golden Knights – Florida Panthers 5:2 (1:1, 1:1, 3:0)

Goals and assists: 18. Marchessault (Stephenson, Theodore), 31. Theodore ( McNabb, Howden), 47. Whitecloud (Barbashev, Eichel), 54. Mark Stone, 59. R. Smith (Eichel) – 10. E. Staal (Lundell), 40. Duclair. Referees: McCauley, O'Rourke – Murray, Cherrey. Suspensions: 4-8, plus Stephenson (Vegas), Bennett, Tkachuk and Gudas (all Florida) 10 min. Usage: 1:0. Underweight: 0:1. Shots on goal: 34:35. Spectators: 18,432. Stars of the match: 1. Whitecloud, 2. Mark Stone, 3. Hill (all Vegas). Series status: 1-0.


Vegas: Hill – Pietrangelo, Martinez, Theodore, McNabb, Whitecloud, Hague – Marchessault, Eichel, Barbashev – Mark Stone, Stephenson, Howden – Amadio, W. Karlsson, R. Smith – Kolesar, N. Roy, W. Carrier. Coach: Cassidy.

Florida: Bobrovsky – Ekblad, Forsling, Montour, M. Staal, Gudas, Mahura – Duclair, Barkov, Verhaeghe – M. Tkachuk, Bennett, Cousins ​​- Reinhart, Lundell, Lomberg – Dalpe, E. Staal , Colin White. Coach: Maurice.