The Maui News
Golden Knights reach 2nd Stanley Cup Final after Game 6 win over Stars
DALLAS — William Karlsson, William Carrier and Jonathan Marchessault are finally getting another chance in the Stanley Cup Final, after the first one that came so quick for the Vegas Golden Knights.
They are going back after making sure they didn’t need another game against the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Final.
Karlsson scored two goals and had an assist while Carrier and Marchessault also scored for the Knights in a 6-0 rout Monday night over the Stars, who had extended the West final to six games after losing the first three.
“We’ve worked hard as a group. That was the goal since year one, to come back here,” Marchessault said. “Our best game is yet to come. That’s the mentality we need to have.”
Reilly Smith, Brayden McNabb and Shea Theodore were also part of that inaugural 2017-18 Knights season that ended in a Cup Final, when they won Game 1 against the Washington Capitals before losing four in a row.
“That first year was a whirlwind and we maybe took it for granted,” said
Karlsson, who like Marchessault and Smith has played in all 83 playoff games for the franchise.
Keegan Kolesar and Michael Amadio each had a goal and an assist for Vegas, which hosts Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against Florida on Saturday night.
The Knights led the Western Conference in the regular season with 51 wins and 111 points. The Panthers completed a four-game sweep of Carolina in the East final last Wednesday, but their 40 wins and 92 points in the regular season were the fewest among the 16 teams that began these NHL playoffs.
Adin Hill stopped 23 shots for his second career playoff shutout — both against the Stars. The other was 4-0 in Game 3 last Tuesday, when the Knights were already within one win of clinching the series before Dallas overcame 1-0 and 2-1 deficits in both Games 4 and 5.
“We kept them to the outside almost all night,” Hill said. “It was probably my easiest game of the playoffs so far tonight.”
Instead of having to face a do-or-die Game 7
at home against the Stars, coach Bruce Cassidy and the Knights got off to another fast start and never left any doubt about the outcome of this series that included three overtime games. They already had 16 of their 29 shots and a 3-0 lead after the first period.
“It was definitely our best game of the playoffs and it came at the right time,” Cassidy said. “You don’t want to let a team off the mat. After getting a 3-0 lead, there was some chatter about that.”
It was the most lopsided playoff loss for the Stars since the franchise moved south from Minnesota before the 1993-94 season.
“You just expect more from yourself in a game like this,” said Stars forward Joe Pavelski, the 38-year-old veteran still without a Stanley Cup after 17 seasons.
“Real disappointed for our group for the way our season ended,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said.