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Top 10 moments from Knights’ season: Banner raised, Pietrangelo honored

The Golden Knights’ 2023-24 season won’t be remembered as fondly as the 2022-23 campaign, but there were still moments fans will remember forever.

The Knights’ title defense came up short in the first round against the Dallas Stars, putting an end to a roller-coaster season featuring several highs and lows.

Here are some highlights from the season that was:

1. Raising the banner: Oct. 10

Captain Mark Stone pulled the lever of a giant slot machine on the ice at T-Mobile Arena, causing a giant Stanley Cup championship banner to start heading towards the rafters.

It was a heck of a way for the Knights to start the season. They also defeated the Seattle Kraken 4-1 the same night, kicking off a 11-0-1 opening stretch that was the best ever for a defending Stanley Cup champion.

“I’ll never forget that,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “That final piece of what we did the year before that you’re never going to forget for the rest of your life, because it’s what you play for.”

2. Dominating Colorado: Nov. 4

The Knights capped off that 11-0-1 stretch with a resounding victory.

They posted their first shutout of the season in a 7-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche at T-Mobile Arena. Goaltender Adin Hill made a season-high 41 saves, while Stone and centers William Karlsson and Jack Eichel scored twice each.

The win made back-to-back championships and a Presidents’ Trophy run seem like a real possibility. But the Knights lost 4-2 to Anaheim the following night to drop points for the first time.

3. Visiting the White House: Nov. 13

Being the champs comes with some perks.

The Knights visited the White House on Nov. 13 to be honored for their run to the Stanley Cup. The team presented President Joe Biden with a Knights sweater and a golden hockey stick.

Stone and Biden both spoke during a ceremony in the White House’s East Room, with the Knights captain cracking a joke about Biden’s home state.

He called Las Vegas the “entertainment capital of the world. I say that with all due respect to Delaware, Mr. President.”

4. Playing in the Winter Classic: Jan. 1

The Knights’ first experience in the NHL’s marquee regular season event — and first outdoor game experience since 2021 —didn’t end on a positive note.

It was still memorable nonetheless.

Players and their families got to skate together on the rink built at the Seattle Mariners’ T-Mobile Park the day before the event. The game itself featured a great atmosphere.

The Knights’ performance was the only thing lacking. They lost 3-0 to the Kraken thanks to goaltender Joey Daccord’s shutout.

5. Stone recording his hat trick: Jan. 15

Stone, somehow, recorded two playoff hat tricks — including one in Game 5 of the 2023 Stanley Cup Final — before his first one in the regular season.

He scored three times against the Nashville Predators in a 4-1 win at home to cause hats to fall from the rafters. He scored just one more goal in the regular season before suffering a lacerated spleen. He didn’t return until Game 1 of the playoffs.

6. Brisson scoring his first goal: Jan. 20

Brendan Brisson’s first NHL goal came at the perfect time.

The Knights’ top prospect scored the game winner in a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The goal came against the 22-year-old’s idol in Penguins center Sidney Crosby, who is represented by Brisson’s father Pat. It also happened on the same night the Knights honored left wing Reilly Smith — who gave Brisson permission to wear his No. 19 — in his return to T-Mobile Arena.

7. Hill taking over New York: Jan. 23-26

Hill missed close to two months with a lower-body injury, but he didn’t miss a beat after returning Jan. 23.

He made 40 saves in a 3-2 win against the New York Islanders. Hill followed that up by making 36 more in a 5-2 win against the New York Rangers three days later.

It was a remarkable stretch. Unfortunately for Hill, it was all downhill the rest of the regular season. He was 7-10 with an .882 save percentage the rest of the way before playing well in the playoffs.

8: Ending Edmonton’s streak: Feb. 6

The Knights weren’t given an easy task coming out of the All-Star break.

Their first opponent was the Edmonton Oilers, who had won 16 straight. The Oilers were one win away from matching the NHL record for consecutive victories, set by the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Knights were undaunted. They won 3-1 at home in their first game in 10 days, with Hill making 30 saves in the victory.

9. Pietrangelo celebrating 1,000: Feb. 12

Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo skated in his 1,000th game in a 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild.

The two-time Stanley Cup champion recorded an assist in the defeat. He was honored pregame with his family by his side and watched a video tribute featuring past and current teammates.

“I love what I do, but I love the people, and you meet a lot of good people along the way,” Pietrangelo said. “I don’t think you play in this career without those friendships. I don’t think I get to where I am without my wife and my kids … and all the teammates and everybody that I’ve crossed paths with throughout the years.”

10. Clinching against Fleury: April 12

The Knights wrapped up their sixth playoff berth in seven seasons against an old friend in a 7-2 win against Minnesota.

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury got the start in what was thought to be the final time he’d play at T-Mobile Arena. The second-winningest goalie in NHL history later announced he would come back for one final season.

Seven different Knights scored, including center Tomas Hertl. It was his first goal with his new team after being traded from the San Jose Sharks just before the March 8 deadline.

Contact Danny Webster at dwebster@reviewjournal.com. Follow @DannyWebster21 on X.

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