A question heading into the Stanley Cup Final was whether the Vegas Golden Knights’ Adin Hill could continue his strong play and keep pace with red-hot Florida Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.
The answer was yes in Game 1 as the Golden Knights beat the Panthers 5-2 on Saturday night with Hill making the save of the playoffs. He had 32 saves to 29 for Bobrovsky.
The Golden Knights, who reached the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural 2017-18 season, are three wins from their first championship. Game 2 is Monday night in Las Vegas (8 p.m. ET, TNT).
The Golden Knights got goals from Jonathan Marchessault, Shea Theodore and Reilly Smith, members of that 2017-18 team, plus Zach Whitecloud and Mark Stone to offset goals by Florida’s Eric Staal and Anthony Duclair.
A look at Game 1:
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Brilliant save by Golden Knights’ Adin Hill
Hill was busy in the first period, making eight saves, getting beat on an Eric Staal short-handed wraparound goal and even being involved in a scrum.
But he saved his best for the second period. Nick Cousins had a wide-open net to put the puck in after a tic-tac-toe passsing play, but Hill stretched out and got the blade of his stick on the shot. Cousins had another chance, but Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo broke up the play.
Hill and Cousins had been involved in the first-period scrum, though Cousins picked up the only penalty in the exchange.
Panthers’ Eric Staal opens scoring
Cousins was in the penalty box when the Panthers got on the board to break a scoreless tie. Eric Staal took a feed from Anton Lundell on a 3-on-2 break, went behind the net and scored on a wraparound at 9:40 of the first period.
Staal, 38, who also played in 2021 Stanley Cup Final with the Montreal Canadiens, last scored in the championship round on June 14, 2006, during the Carolina Hurricanes’ title run.
Vegas’ Marchessault tied the game with 2:42 in the first period as the Golden Knights’ power play connected. It was Marchessault’s 10th goal in his last 11 games.