Vegas Golden Knights goalie Adin Hill stole the show in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday with an incredible stick save, drawing parallels to the unforgettable Braden Holtby save in 2018, and setting the tone for what’s sure to be a heated series against the Florida Panthers.
With just over 13 minutes left in the game, Hill made arguably the best save of the playoffs, paving the way for a crucial goal from Zach Whitecloud. This combination, along with Hill’s total of 33 saves, led Vegas to a 5-2 victory over Florida in a feisty series opener.
At a critical moment during the second period, Hill made a sensational stick save on Panthers center Nick Cousins, a play that kept the score tied 1-1 and served as the highlight of the night. This save was described as a “desperation stick save” that robbed Cousins of what would have been a sure goal, much like the save made by Holtby five years prior.
The Vegas Golden Knights acknowledged Hill’s spectacular performance by tweeting a photo of the goalie mid-save, captioned “un. real.” Another caption of the photo on a different social media platform read “ADIN BLEEPING HILL 😤”.
un. real. pic.twitter.com/i2fKcS4fo8
— z – Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) June 4, 2023
To understand the magnitude of Hill’s save, one must recall the similar stick save made by Washington’s Braden Holtby in the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. With just under two minutes left in Game 2, Holtby made what was referred to as the “save of the year” and potentially “the save of a lifetime”. This save left the crowd stunned and cemented Holtby’s place in the annals of Stanley Cup history.
The Vegas Golden Knights, who are in the final for the second time in their six-year existence, are up against the Florida Panthers, playing for the Cup for the first time since 1996. This matchup marks the 66th different matchup of teams in the Cup final in NHL history and the 46th since the expansion era began in 1967-68.
The spectacular performance by Hill in Game 1 has set high expectations for the rest of the series. As the Stanley Cup Final progresses, the Knights will undoubtedly rely on Hill’s steady hand and quick reflexes to bring the Cup home to Vegas.