Sunday, 24 June, 2018

Capitals a win away from Stanley Cup after beating Golden Knights

Jonathan Marchessault trolls Alex Ovechkin with ‘hot lap’ before Game Three	 	 
 		 
 
  	 
	 		By Elyse Bailey Jonathan Marchessault trolls Alex Ovechkin with ‘hot lap’ before Game Three By Elyse Bailey
Edward Snyder | 08 June, 2018, 13:14

A win tonight and Ovechkin and his Capitals will be on track to lift Lord Stanley's prized chalice for the first time in team history.

Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson, center, celebrates his goal against the Vegas Golden Knights with Alex Ovechkin, left, of Russian Federation, and Nicklas Backstrom, right, of Sweden, during the second period in Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Monday, June 4, 2018, in Washington.

How significant is that?

After a seven-goal regular season, Smith-Pelly has six goals in the playoffs, including potential series daggers in Games 3 and 4 of the final. But, Washington headed into the first intermission with a commanding 3-0 lead. "We want the Cup!" rang out from the crowd. "We're going to have surges", Trotz said.

Alex Ovechkin: Ovie is the only player to record at least one point in every game of the Stanley Cup final. "It's a pretty special moment for the town, for organization, for us". "But when you play that support game and you're making short, little plays, you've got support coming across, you've got your D-men joining, you're going to have some opportunities". "You use it for emtion you use it to drive you forward and that's it". "You see the thousands of people outside the arena watching the game". The average game (per 60 minutes) sees Vegas generate about 10.5 risky shot attempts per 60 minutes.

The Knights played their best period of the title series Monday, but hit two posts, missed the net on another great chance, and found themselves trailing the Washington Capitals 3-0 after the first.

The game's final minutes were chippy with several post-whistle scrums. But lady luck was on his side anyway as the puck clanked off the right goalpost and bounded away, keeping the game scoreless. "It's probably a different game after that".




"The amount of leadership, the amount of everything that Brooks Orpik brings to this team, you can't describe it", Wilson said. That won't make him look more valuable on the stat sheet but certainly builds up respect among Washington Capitals teammates. "Definitely one I want to have back". "Honestly I thought (Neal's shot) was in, my angle, and somehow it didn't go in". "And somehow it didn't go in". "It's just a scramble play where they outcompeted us on that one".

Tom Wilson and Devante Smith-Pelly both scored in the final four minutes of the period after T.J. Oshie put the Capitals on top with a power-play goal 9:56 into the game.

It was more of the same in the second period.

The Golden Knights had some good chances, but Washington did a great job of holding onto momentum and limiting the damage, even when they were outmanned.

This much is certain: The reeling Golden Knights were looking for something, anything, to build upon when they entered Game 4, and a 1-0 lead would have been splendid.

Neal scored 5:43 into the third period. Now he and the Golden Knights have lost back-to-back games for the first time this postseason, which is not Fleury's fault thanks to a spotty defense and an offense that's struggle to gain a foothold in the Capitals' zone. They failed to take advantage of the opportunity. Not the finish the Golden Knights were hoping for, and now they're officially fighting for their playoff lives. And Fleury was unable to bail them out like he has in earlier rounds. For one, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has to be better. After posting 18 points in the first 15 games of these playoffs, he has a lone assist and a minus-2 rating against the Capitals. The last one was San Jose's Logan Couture, who had 30 two years ago, as the Sharks went to Game 6 of the final before losing to Pittsburgh.

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