The first two periods of the 2023 Stanley Cup Final were pretty even; in fact, the score was tied 2-2 heading into the third period of Game 1. Then, the Vegas Golden Knights scored three straight goals to win 5-2, and then another four straight to open Game 2, en route to a 7-2 victory over the Florida Panthers, and a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

While the eighth-seeded Panthers, who qualified for the postseason by just one point, lost consecutive road games for the first time since March, Matthew Tkachuk pointed out that Vegas has "run the table at home" for most of the playoffs.

"They might have thought that game was a little bit out of reach maybe in the second period," Tkachuk said. "But we certainly didn't. We've scored seven goals in a period before. You never know in the playoffs."

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It was an eventful night for Tkachuk, who got into a scuffle with Vegas goalie Adin Hill in the first period and didn't let up from there. In the second period, Tkachuk delivered a crushing open-ice hit on forward Jack Eichel that sent the Vegas star directly to the dressing room.


Jonathan Marchessault scored twice and started an early blitz that chased the NHL's hottest postseason goaltender, and Adin Hill continued his stellar play as Vegas seized control of the Stanley Cup Final.

Hill made 29 saves, and Marchessault had an assist to finish with three points.

Brett Howden scored twice for the Knights, who also got goals from Alec Martinez, Nicolas Roy, and Michael Amadio. Six players had at least two points for Vegas, all 18 Knights skaters were on the ice for even-strength goals and the team's nine goal scorers through the first two games are a Stanley Cup Final record.

The series now shifts to South Florida, a region that hosted the All-Star Game this season but hasn't opened its doors to a Stanley Cup Final game since 1996.

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