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Reliving The 2023 Western Conference Final

Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke, SinBin.vegas

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to remember the last time the Golden Knights and Stars met in the playoffs, the 2023 Western Conference Final.

*Highlights are attached to each game, just press “Game 1” to watch them.*

Game 1

Just before the horn sounded on an active 1st period offensively for both teams, a bad hop along the wall in the Vegas defensive zone helped Dallas get on the board first in the series. The Golden Knights struck back midway through the 2nd with a shot from the point that went off the back wall and directly onto William Karlsson’s stick. Karlsson gave Vegas the lead early in the 3rd when he pounced on a loose puck in the slot and fired one clean past Jake Oettinger. Dallas would level the score but a classic 4th line drive to the goal created a loose puck on the doorstep and Teddy Blueger slammed it home. Jamie Benn tied the game with the Dallas net empty which sent the game to overtime. Just two minutes into OT, Chandler Stephenson’s excellent zone entry set up a wonderful chance for Mark Stone. His shot was stopped, but Brett Howden worked to get the puck back and threw a shot at the net from below the goal line that pinballed across the line.

It was a great start to the series for the Golden Knights as they controlled play for most of the game, dominated at both blue lines, and had the lion’s share of the chances. It took a little longer than expected to get across the line, but they eventually got there.

Game 2

The Stars struck first in Game 2 as well when a long-range shot hit a Golden Knight in front of the goal and hopped over Adin Hill. A two-man advantage helped Vegas tie the score later in the 1st as a failed cross-ice pass ended up on Mark Stone’s stick right in front of the net. Jason Robertson’s second goal of the series put the Stars back on top. Vegas managed just 10 shots on goal through the first two periods and entered the 3rd down a goal. Moments before pulling the goalie, Jack Eichel set up Jonathan Marchessault with an incredible no-look pass that tied the game and sent it to OT once again. Just over a minute into overtime Chandler Stephenson collected a rebound with a perfectly timed drive to the net to poke home the game-winner and give VGK the 2-0 series lead.

This game was much more leaning in Dallas’ favor but the Golden Knights were still able to generate plenty of offense by causing Stars turnovers. Hill came up huge and Mr. Clutch, Jonathan Marchessault, was there to save the day before the clock struck midnight.

Game 3

On their first shift of the game, Jack Eichel fed another slick pass to Jonathan Marchessault to give the Golden Knights the lead very early in the 1st. Not even a minute later, Jamie Benn visciously cross-checked Mark Stone and was assessed a major penalty and eventually a two-game suspension. The Stars looked like they might kill the five minutes off and even had a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush. But seconds later, Nic Roy fed Ivan Barbashev for a power play goal that demoralized Dallas less than six minutes in. William Carrier extended the lead with a backhand shot Oettinger whiffed on. The Stars would pepper Adin Hill with shots but they never could solve him and Vegas would go on to win 4-0 thanks to another power play goal.

Benn led with a foolish penalty that put his team in a hole and the Stars followed. For the third straight series, the Golden Knights had broken their opponents’ will, and it was just a matter of time before VGK punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final.

Game 4

Looking for the sweep, the Golden Knights wasted no time getting on the board again in Game 4 as Karlsson poked home a Reilly Smith shot-pass to put VGK up 1-0 inside five minutes. Another Jason Robertson power play tally would tie it late in the 1st. Jonathan Marchessault gave Vegas the lead back scoring a one-timer off a great feed from Brayden McNabb. The Stars tied it in the 2nd and continued to generate chances in the 3rd, but Vegas held strong to send the game to overtime for the 3rd time in four games. This one ended quickly in OT as well but with the Stars’ Joel Pavelski delivering the dagger this time around.

It’s never easy to sweep and team and the Stars proved it in Game 4. Vegas scored first and could have run away with it, but Dallas never went away and eventually eeked one out in the extra frame.

Game 5

Midway through the 1st period, Jack Eichel created havoc on the forecheck allowing Ivan Barbashev to pick the puck up, drive the net, and slot it home to give the Golden Knights a lead. Dallas evened it with a spray-and-pray goal but Chandler Stephenson gave Vegas the lead back early in the 2nd. It wouldn’t last long as Jason Robertson continued his torrid pace tying the game. Adin Hill was beat for one of the only soft goals he allowed the entire postseason to give the Stars a 3-2 advantage which they would extend and walk out of T-Mobile Arena with the win.

The worst game of the series for VGK started well but went downhill as it went on. Hill bailed them out time and time again but couldn’t do it long enough to secure the series win on that day.

Game 6

Enough was finally enough for the Golden Knights as they took Game 6 by the scruff of the neck and would not be denied their trip to the Final. Vegas were all over the Stars from the moment the puck dropped. Goals by William Carrier, William Karlsson, and Keegan Kolesar built up the 1st period lead and the Golden Knights never stopped.

When all was said and done, it was a 6-0 victory and Vegas had punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final.

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3 Comments

  1. Practice was good today again…everyone participated…the drills werent particulairly sharp as they were new to my eyes a nd probably geared to our first round opponent…good to see Carrier back…hope he is healthy to go from his first shift around 640 pm tomorrow night…Logan was the first goalie off the ice which usually means thats who is starting…deservedly so but still much to my surprise…3 participants who will not be in the lineup and skated in red were Amadio Cotter and surprisingly Pavel…personally i would take my chances with Pav in the lineup rather than Mantha..but i guess Cassidy sees something in him that i sure as heck dont see!!!

  2. Vic

    Grow the beards and say…’2 Cups in 7’

  3. knights fan in minny

    2nd season starts tonight the boys need to turn the switch hope stoner has some kind of pad rigged up for his back you know dallas will come after him mantha needs to get more physical playoffs are more physical

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