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Vets Come Through in Golden Knights Game 1 Triumph

Stone scores in return to action.

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Vegas Golden Knights Win Stanley Cup, Defeat Florida Panthers 7-2
Captain Mark Stone scored for the Golden Knights in his first game back.

There’s no substitute for experience, which the Vegas Golden Knights made abundantly clear during their 4-3 Game 1 victory over the Dallas Stars as the Stanley Cup playoffs got underway.

Several key elements from last season’s Stanley Cup win were playing starring roles as the Golden Knights went into Dallas and swiped home-ice advantage from the Stars.

Captain Mark Stone, back in action after missing 26 games due to a ruptured spleen, took just 1:23 to get on the board. He would open the scoring with a power-play marker.

You could almost hear the heads of rival fans exploding as Stone’s tip found its way past Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger. Those who don’t support the Golden Knights are bitter over the method in which Vegas utilized placing Stone on LTIR to add key elements at the NHL trade deadline.

Jonathan Marchessault, last spring’s Conn Smythe Trophy winner, made it 2-0 before the midway point of the opening frame. It was forward Ivan Barbashev, a key performer in last year’s Cup run, who was forcing the turnover leading to Marchessault’s goal.

Veteran defenseman Brayden McNabb was another Vegas veteran putting his name in the goal column.

New Guys Also Contributing To Golden Knights Win

Those aforementioned trade deadline moves made by Vegas GM Kelly McCrimmon were also paying dividends on the opening night of the playoffs.

Tomas Hertl scored in the first period to make it 3-1 Golden Knights. Hertl was also supplying a net-front screen on Stone’s goal. Defenseman Noah Hanifin dished out a pair of assists.

Goalie Logan Thompson isn’t new to the Golden Knights, but he is new to Vegas playoff hockey. Thompson missed last spring’s glory due to injury, leaving Adin Hill to carry the team to the Cup.

It was Thompson who got the nod over Hill in Game 1. He would make 27 saves, nine in each period. At the other end of the ice, Oettinger was allowing four goals on only 15 shots.