Vegas Knights overwhelm Florida Panthers in game 2

Alex Campbell
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Stanley Cup Finals

Jonathan Marchessault scored 2 goals and kicked off an early surge that ended up getting the NHL's hottest postseason goalie benched, and led the Vegas Golden Knights to a 7-2 victory in game 2.

Adin Hill was simply outstanding in net again and had 29 saves to help guide the Knights to victory, seizing a 2-0 series lead in the process.

After the game Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said "I think our depth has been a strength all year.  It is the biggest reason we are still here, why we beat Winnipeg, Edmonton, Dallas.  I just feel that we have the best team from player one through 20."

Brett Howden, like Marchessault, scored twice for the Knights.  Alec Martinez, Nicolas Roy and Michael Amadio all chipped in a goal as well.  This brings them to a total of 9 individual scorers through 2 games which is a Stanley Cup Final record.  The knights 7 goals also tied a franchise benchmark for a playoff game.

The knights just overwhelmed Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who was benched 7:10 into the second period with the Panthers down 4-0.  Vegas has chased the opposing goalie an impressive 5 times in the last 12 games.

Bobrovsky is a two time Vezina Trophy winner.  He was incredible through the Eastern Conference Playoffs where had won 11 of his last 12 starts with a 1.95 goals-against average and .942 save percentage.  But he's already given up 8 goals in 87 minutes of action against Vegas for a GAA of 5.52 and save percentage of .826 in the series. 

"We can be a little better in front of our goaltender," Panthers coach Paul Maurice said. "I got him out to keep him rested."

Matthew Tkachuk and Anton Lundell scored for Florida

In the expansion era, teams that take a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final are 31-3.  The Panthers geta chance to defy those odds beginning with Game 3 on Thursday at home in Sunrise, Florida.

Aidin Hill has been dominant in this series so far.  "He's been unreal for us" Vegas forward William Carrier said. "He's been unbelievable"

The knights took charge early with a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals from Marchessault and Martinez.  For the third game in a row Vegas scored a power play goal, a streak they haven't replicated since late December.

Panthers defenseman Radko Gudas was injured on a clean hit by Vegas forward Ivan Barbashev.  Gudas is their biggest and toughest guy on defense.  He left 6:39 in and did not return.

Barbeshev, the Knights big trade-deadline acquisition, broke the sternum of Colorado defenseman Samuel Girard last year during the playoffs, also on a clean hit.

Vegas' Jack Eichel was hit hard in the right shoulder by Tkachuk and came out of the game as well.  But Eichel returned in the third period, and set up Marchessault's second goal, notching his second assist of the game. 

After the game Eichel remarked. "We did a good job managing momentum tonight and we got some timely goals."