LAS VEGAS (AP) – The Latest on Game 1 of the Stanley Cup between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights (all times local):
The Vegas Golden Knights have jumped out to a 1-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the opening game of the Stanley Cup Final against Washington.
Colin Miller scored 7:15 into the game on the power play, slapping a shot past Braden Holtby, who appeared to be screened.
Vegas had five shots before the Capitals had one. After they finally got a shot on net 5-plus minutes into the game, Washington’s Andre Burakovsky was called for boarding to give the Golden Knights the first power play of the final.
The Golden Knights pulled out all the stops for an extravagant pregame show. Famed ring announcer Michael Buffer yelled “Let’s get ready to rumble!” before announcing starting lineups.
The teams came out flying, playing with plenty of speed and energy in front of a fired-up crowd that went wild as Vegas opened the scoring.
The Strip was packed with people fired up about the Stanley Cup Final.
Fans began filling up the plaza outside T-Mobile Arena several hours before Game 1 despite 94-degree temperatures. The parking lots and casino restaurants nearby were jammed with people decked out in costumes ranging from suits of armor to a Sasquatch.
After a pregame concert from hip-hop star and Golden Knights fan Lil Jon, the crowd kept growing until the plaza was packed an hour before the puck dropped.
Inside the arena, fans of both teams crowded around the glass before pregame warmups. The concourse was filled with Vegas touches from showgirls taking photos with fans to the wildly costumed dancers from the cast of Mystere, the long-running Cirque du Soleil show at the Treasure Island casino.
Much earlier in the day, fans began lining up at City National Arena, the team’s practice facility in the suburbs, to get a wristband that allowed them watch the Golden Knights’ optional morning skate. By 5:30 a.m. the line grew to 20 people to watch the morning skate later in the morning.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman insists there’s no delay in deciding if Seattle will have a team in the league.
“We just haven’t gotten the train to the station in time,” Bettman told reporters Monday night during his annual Stanley Cup Final news conference.
Bettman reiterated Seattle’s bid will not be up for conditional approval at the NHL Board of Governors in June.
Seattle’s ownership group will have to pay a $650 million expansion fee and make arena improvements to play in the NHL as soon as 2020.
“The building still has to be renovated,” Bettman said before Vegas hosted Washington in Game 1. “So, there’s plenty of time to deal with the issues that have to be dealt with.”
Houston also has been mentioned as a candidate for an NHL team.
The Washington Capitals or Vegas Golden Knights will win the Stanley Cup for the first time.
History suggests the winner of Game 1 has the odds in its favor.
The team winning the opener the previous six years ended up hoisting the Cup. Since the Stanley Cup Final went to a best-of-seven format, the winner of Game 1 has gone on to hoist the Cup 61 of 78 times.
Washington has its second shot to earn the Cup, hoping it fares better than in 1998 when Detroit won in a sweep.
Vegas is aiming to be the first franchise in a major North American professional league to win a title in its first season since the NFL’s Cleveland Browns in 1950.
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