Video Credit: NHL

FSM Essential Recap: Golden Knights vs Panthers – Game 5 – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

Vegas Golden Knights (16-6) vs Florida Panthers  (13-8)


Mission Accomplished. The Vegas Golden Knights win their first-ever Stanley Cup with a Game 5 victory over the Florida Panthers. 

It is game 5 of the Golden Knights vs Panthers series. 

Golden Knights vs Panthers Hauge scores goal
Photo Credit: John Locher/AP

The final conquest for the Golden Knights has been completed. They finally hit the jackpot by winning their first-ever Stanley Cup with a 9-3 victory over the Florida Panthers at T-Mobile Arena.  

From the start, the Golden Knights outplayed and dominated the Panthers on their way to victory. Vegas scored a total of nine goals which is the most goals ever scored in a Cup-clinching game.

The Golden Knights have always been known for their flashy pre-game shows, but in Game 5 it was their flashy offense that stole the show, highlighted by team captain Mark Stone who scored a hat trick (three goals).

“Vegas, you certainly know how to throw a party,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told the crowd. “What’s going on inside this arena and outside is incredible and a testament to what a great hockey market this is.”

Vegas won the Cup in its sixth season, becoming the second-fastest team to a championship in the expansion era (since 1967-68) behind the Edmonton Oilers (five, 1983-84).

Jonathan Marchessault was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy for playoff Most Valuable Player, making Marchessault the first undrafted player to win the Trophy since Wayne Gretzky in 1988.

“All of us, the Golden Knights, we’re all winners,” said Marchessault, “It’s definitely the best feeling in the world.”

Marchessault, along with William Karlsson, Reilly Smith, Alec Martinez, and Shae Theodore are the original Golden Knight players that have redeemed themselves by winning their first-ever Stanley Cup after falling short in 2018 against the Washington Capitals. Winning this one meant a lot to them, fulfilling the goal of their team owner, Bill Foley, to win a championship in the sixth year.

“We waited a long time for that moment to come back,” Marchessault said. “We wanted to make sure we cash in this time.”

Vegas indeed cashed in on the moment. Last night, the Golden Knights had seven goal-scorers and 15 players with at least one point. Jack Eichel and Shae Theodore each had three assists, Reilly Smith scored a goal as well, and Adin Hill finished the night with 32 saves.

“Depth all year,” Vegas defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. “We just used our depth to overwhelm people.”

End of the first period in the Golden Knights vs Panthers series

The Las Vegas strip has always been bright but the Golden Knights’ offense shined brighter, scoring on all cylinders.

The start of periods 2 and 3 in the Golden Knights vs Panthers series.

Golden Knights vs Panthers Golden Knights celebrate winning the Stanley Cup
Photo Credit: Abbie Parr/AP

Sam Reinhart and Sam Bennett each scored for the Panthers, and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky finished the night with 23 saves.

“Appropriate congratulations to Vegas. They earned it,” Florida coach Paul Maurice said. “They were outstanding. We didn’t have an answer for them.”

Mark Stone was the first to light the lamp and put Vegas on the board after scoring on a short-handed goal at the 11:52 mark of the first period 1-0 score.

Nicolas Hague extended the lead 2-0 in the first after he came in from the blue line, got to a loose puck in front of Bobrovsky, and put it in.

Aaron Ekblad cut the score to 2-1 in the second period after firing through traffic past Adin Hill. The Panthers pulling within a goal did not faze the Golden Knights at all as Vegas would proceed to score four goals in the last 9:32 of the second period to put the game out of reach.

One remarkable highlight came when Alec Martinez scored from the right face-off circle for a 3-1 lead. It was exactly nine years ago to the day that Martinez scored the double-overtime Cup-winning goal for the Los Angeles Kings in Game 5 against the New York Rangers in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.

“Alec Martinez only scores in Stanley Cup Finals, apparently,” Cassidy said. “And what a timely goal that is.”

By the end of the second period, Vegas was leading 6-1.

“We felt good about ourselves going into the third period, obviously,” Eichel said. “We had a big lead. We thought we did a good job in the second. You’re trying to hold all your emotions together. You need to finish the game.”

Ivan Barbashev extended the lead to 7-1 at 8:22 of the third. Twenty-five seconds later Reinhart cut it to 7-2 at 8:47, and Bennett made it 7-3 at 11:39 with a shot off Pietrangelo’s stick.


Golden Knights vs Panthers Stanley Cup champion picture
Photo Credit: John Locher/AP

Mark Stone scored his hat trick goal after an empty-net goal for an 8-3 lead at the 14:06 mark of the third period, Nicolas Roy then capped off the game with a goal for a 9-3 final.

“It’s the best feeling in the world to be able to do this,” Eichel said. “Lifelong dream.”

The Vegas Golden Knights winning their first-ever Stanley Cup is a history-making moment, not only for the organization, but also for the city. Back in 2016, owner Bill Foley hoped that they would win a championship within six years, and despite them falling short in 2018, winning the Cup this year justifies a lot of the front office decisions in the past.

Winning the Stanley Cup is something the fans needed, too. The Golden Knights played a vital role and connected with the city after the October 1, 2017 shooting that took 60 lives. The team’s role on and off the ice was a healing moment for the city. Along with the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces championship in September 2022 and the UNLV’s men’s college basketball National Championship in 1990, the Stanley Cup championship victory for the Golden Knights will go down as one of the greatest sports moments in the city of Las Vegas.

The final score in game 5 of the Golden Knights vs Panthers series was 9-3, Vegas.

The Vegas Golden Knights Stanley Cup championship parade will be announced soon. Franchise Sports Media will have all the details, so make sure to follow us on all social media to stay up-to-date. (@TheFranchiseLV).


– Jonathan Randall – Franchise Sports Media

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