LAS VEGAS -- Lil Jon had performed. The Golden Knight had sheathed his sword after the pregame show. The national anthem had ended.
[RELATED: Complete Golden Knights vs. Capitals series coverage]
Out walked Michael Buffer, the legendary boxing ring announcer.
"Ladies and gentleman," he said, "welcome to the main event of the evening."
It was Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals at T-Mobile Arena, the first round of a heavyweight title bout.
"Let's get ready to rumblllllllle!"
Buffer grew up in Philadelphia and became a Philadelphia Flyers fan in the Broad Street Bullies days of the 1970s. Though he made his name in boxing and wrestling, he'd done many other main events, including NHL games from Arizona to Tampa Bay. He had done Florida Panthers games in the 1996 Stanley Cup Final.
The Golden Knights had cranked up the intensity throughout the regular season and the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Now they cranked it up another notch. You hear Buffer's voice, you know it's big time.
"After doing so many big events -- primarily, of course, boxing -- in Las Vegas, it just sort of fits," Buffer said in his dressing room, as he was getting ready to get ready to rumble.
Buffer introduced the teams as if they were boxers. The Capitals were in white, trimmed in red and blue. He read the names of coach Barry Trotz and the six starters in a calm voice.
"And now, hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, wearing steel gray with black, gold and red trim … your Vegas Goldennnnnnnn Knights!"
He drew out the names of coach Gerard Gallant and the first five starters.
"And in goal …"
It was hard to hear even Buffer introduce goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury amid the crowd noise.
"These are your Vegas Golden Knights," Buffer said. "Now tell me. What time is it?"
"Knight time!" the fans answered.
"What time is it?"
Oh, they were ready to rumble.
"I don't know how the fans keep up that vocal thunder," Buffer said. "It's the same way through the playoffs and Stanley Cup Final. The fans are just absolutely nuts, and it's the real fans. And the beauty about this thing with the Vegas Golden Knights, it's their first season, so the city is, like, in love with it."
Stanley Cup Final Coverage
Golden Knights vs. Capitals
Stanley Cup Final Schedule