William Karlsson, right, of the Vegas Golden Knights celerbates with teammates on the bench after scoring a goal in a 6-0 NHL playoff victory that booked Vegas a berth in the Stanley Cup Final
Houston (AFP) - The Vegas Golden Knights advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in their six-season history on Monday by routing host Dallas 6-0 in the NHL playoffs.
Swedish center William Karlsson scored twice for Vegas, which also reached the NHL final in 2018, losing to Washington in the Knights’ debut campaign.
The Golden Knights captured the best-of-seven Western Conference final 4-2 over Dallas and will host the Florida Panthers in game one of the championship series on Saturday.
“We had a good start,” Karlsson said after Vegas shrugged off back-to-back losses to Dallas. “We kept it light. We know when to buckle down and play hockey.
“It has been a great journey so far. We still have four more wins to get but it has been a great journey so far.”
The Panthers, who swept Carolina in the Eastern Conference final, made their only prior NHL Final in 1996, when they were swept by Colorado.
Florida will have had nine days off before starting the Stanley Cup Final.
The Stars had dropped the first three games of the conference final before rallying and hoped for a home triumph to pull the series level, but the Knights took command quickly.
Vegas left wing William Carrier took advantage of a Stars turnover in their own zone and flicked a backhand shot past sprawled Dallas goaltender Jake Oettinger for the game’s first goal only 3:41 into the contest.
Karlsson gave the Golden Knights a 2-0 edge with a power-play goal 10:25 into the first period, taking a rebound off Nicolas Roy’s shot and firing it into the net.
Keegan Kolesar boosted the Vegas advantage to 3-0 with six minutes remaining in the opening period off assists from Carrier and Roy.
Jonathan Marchessault scored for the Golden Knights 10:25 into the second period for a 4-0 Vegas lead and Karlsson netted his second goal 2:06 into the third period to dim any hopes of a Dallas fightback.
Michael Amadio gave Vegas a final goal with 7:35 remaining in the third period.