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Relive the Knights’ ride through the Stanley Cup playoffs last year

Updated April 20, 2024 - 10:05 am

The Golden Knights’ fifth playoff appearance provided the breakthrough the organization was striving for.

Right wing Jonathan Marchessault kept scoring goals, goaltender Adin Hill had a magical run in net and the Knights lifted the Stanley Cup in their sixth season of existence.

Here’s a look back at their journey through the 2023 NHL playoffs:

First round

The Knights earned the top seed in the Western Conference and began the playoffs by hosting the Winnipeg Jets.

They didn’t get off to a great start.

The Jets came into T-Mobile Arena and rolled to a 5-1 victory in Game 1.

The Knights bounced back in Game 2 with a 5-2 win. They then took control of the series in Game 3 when right wing Michael Amadio scored in double overtime to give the team a 5-4 win and 2-1 series lead. The goal helped the Knights avert disaster after they led 4-1 entering the third period.

The defeat appeared to take the wind out of the Jets’ sails.

The Knights won 4-2 in Game 4 and then returned home to close out the series at T-Mobile Arena with a 4-1 victory.

Second round

The Knights moved on to face the Edmonton Oilers in the second round.

They won 6-4 at home in Game 1 despite the best efforts of Oilers center Leon Draisaitl. He scored four goals in Edmonton’s defeat.

The Oilers delivered quite a response. They outshot the Knights 19-4 in the first period of Game 2 and scored four times in a 5-1 victory.

The result flipped in Game 3. The Knights won 5-1 thanks to two goals from Marchessault, a sign of things to come. Goaltender Laurent Brossoit, who started the team’s first eight playoff games, was injured in the first period and replaced by Hill. Brossoit never returned and Hill never relinquished the job.

The back-and-forth nature of the series continued in Game 4. Edmonton bounced back with a 4-1 win that got ugly late when defenseman Alex Pietrangelo was given a game misconduct for a slash on Draisaitl.

Game 5 proved to be a turning point. The Oilers led 2-1 late in the second period with a chance to take hold of the series. The Knights responded by scoring three times in 1:29 to take a 4-2 lead into the second intermission. They held on in the third for a 4-3 victory and 3-2 series lead.

Marchessault recorded a natural hat trick back in Edmonton after the Knights fell behind 2-1 in Game 6. Hill also made 38 saves in a 5-2 series-clinching victory.

Western Conference Final

The Knights opened the Western Conference Final against the Dallas Stars with a pair of dramatic home wins.

Left wing Brett Howden scored in overtime in Game 1 and center Chandler Stephenson struck in the extra session of Game 2 to put the team up 2-0. Marchessault scored with 2:22 remaining in the third period of Game 2 to force overtime.

The Knights kept rolling in Game 3. Hill recorded a 34-save shutout and left wing Ivan Barbashev had a goal and two assists in a 4-0 victory in Dallas that put the team within a game of the Stanley Cup Final.

It took some time for the Knights to advance.

The Stars stayed alive with a 3-2 overtime win in Game 4 and they extended the series again with a 4-2 victory at T-Mobile Arena in Game 5.

The Knights decided to end things after that.

They put forth perhaps their best effort of the season in Game 6 in a dominant 6-0 victory that punched their ticket to the Final for the second time in six years.

Stanley Cup Final

The Knights faced the underdog Florida Panthers for the right to lift the Stanley Cup.

They scored three third-period goals in Game 1 to win 5-2 at T-Mobile Arena. Marchessault scored for the fifth time in six games after the Panthers took an early lead.

Things didn’t get much better for Florida in Game 2.

Marchessault had two goals and an assist against his former team as the Knights cruised to a 7-2 victory and 2-0 series lead. The team set a record by having nine different goal scorers the first two games of the Final.

The Panthers didn’t go away, however.

Florida returned home with a 3-2 overtime win in Game 3. The Panthers then almost rallied from down 3-0 in Game 4. They cut their deficit to 3-2 just 3:50 into the third but got no closer. The Knights survived a late penalty kill with Florida goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky out of the net for an extra attacker.

They then didn’t let an opportunity to celebrate a championship on home ice slip away.

Captain Mark Stone had a hat trick and center Jack Eichel and defenseman Shea Theodore each had three assists as the Knights won 9-3 to clinch the Cup at T-Mobile Arena. The team had seven players score a goal and 15 players record a point in the victory.

The win started a party that lasted all summer for the Knights.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on X.

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