logo
Vegas Information
Golden Knights are one win from claiming the Stanley Cup | Las Vegas Review-Journal
Golden Knights are one win from claiming the Stanley Cup | Las Vegas Review-Journal


Golden Knights center Brett Howden (21) celebrates a score against the Florida Panthers in period 2 of Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final series at FLA Live Arena on Saturday, June 10, 2023, in Sunrise, Fla. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images
Golden Knights celebrate a score against the Florida Panthers in period 2 of Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final series at FLA Live Arena on Saturday, June 10, 2023, in Sunrise, Fla. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images
Golden Knights goaltender Adin Hill (33) and defenseman Shea Theodore (27) combine to save the score attempt by Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov (16) in period 3 of Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final series at FLA Live Arena on Saturday, June 10, 2023, in Sunrise, Fla. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images
Golden Knights goaltender Adin Hill (33) and defenseman Shea Theodore (27) combine to save the score attempt by Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov (16) in period 3 of Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final series at FLA Live Arena on Saturday, June 10, 2023, in Sunrise, Fla. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images
Golden Knights goaltender Adin Hill (33) looks dismayed as his teammates and the Florida Panthers fight following period 3 of Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final series at FLA Live Arena on Saturday, June 10, 2023, in Sunrise, Fla. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images

SUNRISE, Fla. — One win. Sixty minutes.

Another solid effort away from delivering history.

Six years after being introduced to Las Vegas as its first major league professional sports franchise, the Golden Knights can taste a Stanley Cup championship.

It’s that close. That possible now.

The Knights climbed oh-so-closer to such reality with a 3-2 win against Florida on Saturday at FLA Live Arena.

They now lead the best-of-seven series 3-1 with a potential clinching Game 5 set for Tuesday night at T-Mobile Arena.

Know the situation

Can you imagine the response if they close things out at home? Can you imagine the euphoria from a fan base that first grew to love this team during that memorable expansion season?

From the instant owner Bill Foley predicted that which many thought folly at the time: Playoffs in three; Cup in six.

“Obviously,” forward Reilly Smith said, “we know the situation.”

The Knights did Saturday what they have done so often this season, answering a loss in the previous game with a stellar performance the following one. They did so with a swarming second period that saw them take control of things before the Panthers pushed back — you knew they would — in the third.

And yet it came down to some frantic final seconds, to a Florida power play that caused some havoc near the end with bodies and shots flying the final 17 ticks or so, with Knights goalie Adin Hill and those in front standing tall for one final stop.

“I was just trying to get in front of everything,” Hill said. “I saw the puck. Just do anything to keep it out of the net.

“You can’t help but think about what (one more win) will mean. But you have to stay in the moment. We’re one win away from our goal. Just recover and rest and get ready for Tuesday.”

Coach Bruce Cassidy spoke before the game about his team’s forecheck needing to be better than it was in the Game 3 loss. Funny. It’s what helped the Knights play so well in the second 20 minutes Saturday.

It was one of those periods during which they imposed their will to build a 3-0 lead. We’ve seen it before in these playoffs. They were faster. Created more opportunities. Have just been better all-around for four games now.

The pregame message from Cassidy was simple: This is a franchise that for the second time got over the hump of a conference final and climbed within such close reach of the Stanley Cup.

So remember the little things and don’t think of the bigger picture.

Focus on the small details.

“It’s a proud group,” Cassidy said. “Guys know what’s at stake.”

It’s impossible not to. Cassidy knows his players will have all sorts of folks in their ears now, talking about how close they are, what winning Tuesday would mean. About all the things a victory would represent for each of them, for their lives and careers.

You can’t run or hide from it.

Cup runneth over

But one of the best things his team has done is put things in perspective. It’s about flying home Sunday and getting back to work Monday. About relishing for a second how they rebounded from Game 3 and then putting all that aside.

“We’ve been pretty good at bouncing back after losses and responding the right way,” said center Jack Eichel, who left the game late in the second period after taking a puck off his neck before returning in the third. “Some of that has to do with the experience and veteran leadership of the team. Mostly it’s about the character of the guys. That speaks mostly to our ability to come back after losing games and have a good performance.”

One win. Sixty minutes. Another solid effort.

Then their Cup would runneth over with history.

They can taste it. It’s that close.

That possible now.

Ed Graney is a Sigma Delta Chi Award winner for sports column writing and can be reached at egraney@reviewjournal.com. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 7 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

This content was originally published here.










©2024 VEGAS INFORMATION • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED