Revisit the Vegas Golden Knights' run to the 2023 Stanley Cup Final.
The Vegas Golden Knights finished first in the Western Conference when the 2022-2023 regular season concluded, just edging the Edmonton Oilers in the Pacific Division and the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche as well.
Now, Vegas is back in the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in the franchise’s six-year history, looking to become the first first-time Stanley Cup champion since the St. Louis Blues in 2019.
Ahead of Vegas’ second-ever Stanley Cup Final appearance, we recap exactly how they got here to the NHL's showpiece event.
Unlike their Stanley Cup Final opponent, the Florida Panthers, Vegas was a favorite to emerge from the West as the conference’s top seed in the playoffs.
Despite losing the series opener, the Golden Knights easily dispatched the Winnipeg Jets, 4-1, in the first round, scoring 18 goals in the team’s four wins after managing just one in that opening loss.
That led Vegas to a showdown with division foe Edmonton, who bested them three of four times during the regular season, including a 7-4 thrashing in April.
The Oilers boast three 100-point scorers, including Connor McDavid, who led the league in both goals (64) and assists (89), totaling 153 points, along with Leon Draisatl (128 points) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (104 points).
The teams split the first four games of the series before Vegas closed it out with 4-3 and 5-2 victories.
Vegas posted two 1-goal victories and a 4-0 shutout while racing out to a 3-0 lead over the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Final.
Dallas took two back to make things interesting, but William Karlsson had two goals and an assist and Adin Hill was flawless in net as Vegas clinched the West with a 6-0 win.
The Golden Knights are not flashy and don’t post the eye-popping stats of teams like the Oilers. They just win and advance.
Center Jack Eichel led the team with 66 points in the regular season and forward Jonathan Marchessault led with 29 goals.
The Golden Knights have found their rhythm in the postseason, however. Center William Karlsson leads Vegas with 10 goals in the playoffs, while Eichel leads the team with 12 assists and 18 overall points.
Marchessault has nine goals and eight assists and leads the Golden Knights with a +13 while forward Ivan Barbashev has six goals and nine assists to go with a +12.
Center Chandler Stephenson, second on the team during the regular season with 65 points, has contributed eight goals and six assists, while right winger Mark Stone has added six goals and nine assists.
Vegas featured a goaltender by committee in the regular season, with no less than four netminders notching double-digit appearances, including Jonathan Quick, who came over from the Los Angeles Kings in a trade during the regular season.
But Vegas has turned to the duo of Hill and Laurent Brossoit between the pipes for the playoffs.
Hill has seven wins, 312 saves and a league-leading .937 save percentage in the postseason, while Brossoit has posted five wins.
Five Golden Knights players have won Stanley Cups with other teams. That includes Barbashev and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo with the 2019 St. Louis Blues, defenseman Alec Martinez and Quick with the 2012 and 2014 Los Angeles Kings and Stephenson with the 2018 Washington Capitals.
Vegas won the Western Conference with 111 points despite scoring just 272 goals as a team, fifth-best among Western Conference playoff qualifiers.
They went 51-22-9 to edge Edmonton (109 points) in the Pacific Division, the only division with four teams to finish with 100 or more points, including the Kings (104) and the Seattle Kraken (100).
The Golden Knights also just edged defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche, which finished first in the Central Division, one point ahead of the Stars (108).
Despite only six years in existence, the Golden Knights have experienced postseason success since their inception, racing to the 2018 Stanley Cup Final during their inaugural season before falling to the Washington Capitals in five games.
Vegas has now made the playoffs five out of six seasons, returning after a one-year hiatus in 2021-2022.
When it reaches the postseason, Vegas normally advances, having reached the Western Conference Final or its equivalent four out of five postseason appearances.
With these three series wins this year, Vegas is now 10-4 in playoff series in the franchise’s brief existence.
The Golden Knights are +135 to now go on and lift the Stanley Cup.