Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Florida Panthers and Vegas Golden Knights is every bit as intense and dramatic as we expected. So perhaps it's fitting this year's final got off to a start we haven't seen in nearly 30 years.
Panthers veteran Eric Staal opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal in the first period. His goal marked the first time the Stanley Cup Finals opened with a shorthanded goal since 1997.
Former Detroit Red Wings forward Kirk Maltby is the man who scored the shorthanded goal that year. The Red Wings swept the Philadelphia Flyers for the first of their back-to-back Stanley Cups in the late 1990s.
Staal's goal also marked his first goal in the Stanley Cup Finals since June 14, 2006. The nearly 17 years between goals in the Stanley Cup Finals is the longest such gap in NHL history.
Staal found the back of the net after the Golden Knights turned the puck over. Vegas goalie Adin Hill found himself out of position, allowing the veteran Panthers forward to score on an open net.
The Panthers held the lead for a little bit after that. However, they couldn't take it into the intermission. Former Panthers star Jonathan Marchessault scored on the power play to tie the game at 1.
In the second period, it seemed as if the Panthers had the lead. Nick Cousins had a wide-open net for himself, but Hill made an unbelievable save with the paddle of his stick to keep the game tied.
Later in the second period, the Golden Knights took the lead for themselves. Vegas blueliner Shea Theodore shook a Florida defender before ripping a shot past Sergei Bobrovsky for a 2-1 lead.