It was a Game 7 that lived up to the all the expectations and hype.
The Vancouver Canucks, the upstart team few anticipated would win two playoff series let alone challenge the odds-on favourite for the conference title, roared back from a 3-1 games deficit and nearly beat the top-seeded Vegas Golden Knights.
They came up just short, losing in the closing minutes of a defensive-dominated game led by the outstanding play of two goaltenders.
But then, anticipating another game with overtime, with just 6:08 remaining in the third period in a scoreless game, the Golden Knights finally penetrated Demko's fortress.
1-0 Golden Knights.
That goal was all the Golden Nights needed. They scored two empty-net goals late in the game, which accounted for a misleading final score. Don't be mistaken, the Canucks very well could have won this game and series and may have advanced to the Western Conference finals to play the Dallas Stars had they just been able to put up a bit more offense and turn around a 2-1 disadvantage in shots-on-goal.
It also didn't help Vancouver's chances that they went 0/4 on power play opportunities.
The final score was terribly misleading. Thatcher Demko's play was brilliant, not just for this game but during the last three games, in which he stopped all but two shots. Robin Lehner's play for the Golden Knights was too bad, either.
Vancouver certainly has a very bright future ahead. That realization won't subdue the pain of losing game they might have won tonight with a break or two, but it's something positive to takeaway from a thrilling 2019-2020 NHL season.
This final handshake says it all:
Way to go, Canucks!
Now, for the Golden Knights, Dallas awaits.