Golden Knights rout Panthers, take 2-0 series lead in Stanley Cup Final

Vegas Golden Knights right wing Jonathan Marchessault (81) celebrates his goal against the...
Vegas Golden Knights right wing Jonathan Marchessault (81) celebrates his goal against the Dallas Stars with Nicolas Hague and Ivan Barbashev (49) during the first period of Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals in Dallas, Tuesday, May 23, 2023. (AP Photo/LM Otero)(LM Otero | AP)
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 8:03 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The Vegas Golden Knights moved one step closer to claiming their first Stanley Cup title, hammering the Florida Panthers, 7-2, on Monday evening to take a 2-0 lead in the NHL championship series.

VGK struck early in Game 2 at a raucous T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and never looked back. Jonathan Marchessault got the Knights on the board first, burying a power-play goal 7:05 into the first period, his 11th score of the 2023 playoffs. Alec Martinez added another goal with 2:01 remaining in the first.

The Golden Knights didn’t let up in the second. Nicolas Roy made it 3-0 2:59 into the period, and Brett Howden increased the lead to 4-0 less than five minutes later.

Goalie Adin Hill was busy for the Knights, as the Panthers outshot Vegas 31 to 28. Florida had trouble capitalizing on their scoring opportunities and they went 0-for-4 on the power play. The Panthers broke up the shutout with a goal in the first minute of the final period, but the Knights responded almost immediately with another Marchessault goal 2:10 into the third.

Michael Amadio scored for Vegas on a rebound to extend the lead to 6-1 just after midway through the third period. Matthew Tkachuk added a Panthers goal with 7:16 left, but Brett Howden netted his second of the night with 2:08 remaining to push the lead back to five.

The Golden Knights will now take their 2-0 series lead to Florida. Game 3 is scheduled for 5 p.m. Pacific time on Thursday, June 8 at FLA Live Arena.