(Las Vegas) We didn’t know Adin Hill so much before the start of these playoffs, but now we’re starting to know him.

Presumably the Florida Panthers are getting to know him too, especially after that raucous Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and especially after that first game of the Finals, which the Golden Knights won by the score of 5-2. Not bad thanks to Adin Hill.

In particular, Nick Cousins ​​is presumed to be remembered for a long time, because Hill’s second-period stick save was perhaps the most dramatic save of the 2023 playoffs. It’s the kind of case that can keep you up all night.

At the end of the evening, the Golden Knights goalkeeper had a hard time moving in front of his locker, there were so many cameras piling up in front of him. Which is still funny, because just a few months ago the cameras wanted nothing to do with him, the career reservist.

“I was a little nervous during the introduction of the players, but it’s good to be nervous,” explained the once-unrecognized goalkeeper. But all this is nothing new to us; I feel like we spent the year preparing for this moment. »

In fact, Hill was so good that the Panthers spent the better part of the night playing in frustration, picking up some nasty shit as they went; here, a glove to the face from Matthew Tkachuk while his victim is already in someone else’s arms. There, an unexpected knee from Radko Gudas to Mark Stone, after the Golden Knights’ second goal, that of Theodore.

This is not the kind of evening that the visitors wanted.

“At one point Tkachuk kicked me, so I kicked him too,” Marchessault said. I shouldn’t have done that because it agitates him and excites him. With guys who play the same, you don’t have to get into that. »

The Quebec forward, who by his own admission didn’t play a great game, still managed the Golden Knights’ first goal, a goal that set the tone and rekindled the fire in here.

It was his 10th goal in his last 11 games in this playoff.

“It’s fun, it’s a goal that felt good,” he said. [Sergei] Bobrovsky is very good on low shots, so you have to go to the net to disturb him. But that’s okay; if I didn’t score any goals and we won the same, I would be happy. »

Here, of course hockey is spectacle, of course we throw powder (shiny and golden) in the eyes, but on the ice, at least, there is a team that knows how to play hockey in this arena . The Panthers had another proof.

Too bad, though, that it all had to end in a bit of a tumult, with players fussing over each other, and others who wanted to “prepare” the next game, as is a proud hockey tradition. in this league.

That didn’t bother Jonathan Marchessault too much.

“It’s silly to start doing that when it’s 4-2 late in the game,” he explained. We played winning hockey. But that’s not surprising; if it wasn’t for the intensity, it wouldn’t be a Stanley Cup Finals game…”

The Golden Knights goaltender made 33 saves, and he was awesome.

We felt the Panthers forward was a little too frustrated, and more interested in picking on others than playing hockey.

The number of shots made by Mark Stone, who collected a goal.