LAS VEGAS -- When the Vegas Golden Knights entered the NHL in 2017 as an expansion team, owner Bill Foley said his plan was to win the Stanley Cup in six years.

That prophecy was emphatically fulfilled Tuesday night in Las Vegas, as the Golden Knights blew out the Florida Panthers 9-3 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final to win their series 4-1 and capture the first championship in franchise history.

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Captain Mark Stone authored a hat trick, and center Jack Eichel had three assists in the win. Goaltender Adin Hill outplayed Florida's Sergei Bobrovsky, making 32 saves.


"I can't even describe the feelings in my stomach right now," said Stone, who received the Stanley Cup from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. "It's everything you can imagine. The grind of an 82-game season, four playoff rounds, you grind and you grind and you grind, and at the end of the day, you're the last team standing. It's incredible."

Forward Jonathan Marchessault was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as postseason MVP.

Marchessault is one of six players from the Golden Knights' inaugural season who went to the Stanley Cup Final, losing to the Washington Capitals. Five of the six -- Marchessault, Reilly Smith, William Karlsson, Brayden McNabb and Shea Theodore -- were in the starting lineup for Game 5. After Stone received the Cup, these "Golden Misfits" and fellow first-year Knight William Carrier were the next players to skate with the Stanley Cup.


The Panthers, who were also seeking their first Stanley Cup title, saw their remarkable playoff run from the lowest seed in the Eastern Conference to the final round end in frustrating defeat. Florida was without a key contributor in Game 5: star forward Matthew Tkachuk, who led the Panthers this postseason in goals (11) and points (24).

He was limited in their Game 4 loss and wasn't healthy enough to play in Game 5 -- a critical blow to the Panthers' chances to rally in the series.

The six-goal margin of victory was the largest of the series, surpassing Vegas' 7-2 win in Game 2. It's also the second largest ever in a Stanley Cup Final-clinching game, topped only by the Pittsburgh Penguins winning by eight goals in 1991.

The Knights celebrated at the final buzzer as the gold-clad Vegas fans cheered wildly. Over time they have turned this new NHL market into one of the league's hottest fan bases.

The Knights made the playoffs in their first season. And they won the Cup in six.

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LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.

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