Capitals beat Vegas 3-1, lead Cup Final 2-1

Ovechkin-Alex-USNews-053018-ftr-getty

Ovechkin-Alex-USNews-053018-ftr-getty

Poised to give the Vegas Golden Knights the opening goal in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, the veteran leader of this upstart expansion team hit the right post.

The last time Fleury had to win a playoff contest in Washington was Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals a year ago.

After a 3-1 loss on Saturday, the Capitals lead the series 2-1 against the Golden Knights. Ovechkin's goal was preceded by four attacks of Fleury's net, a deflection Fleury dove to save, an attempt off his left post, a wrist shot he knocked down with his chest and a rebound he blocked with his pads.

A 15-year-old from Bethesda threw a steamed crab out on the ice Saturday after the Washington Capital's win in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Oshie scored, along with John Carlson, Tom Wilson, Michal Kempny and Brett Connolly. Washington, which went through three coaches that first season, lost games 12-1 (twice), 11-1, 10-0, 10-2 and 10-3.

As frustration set in for the Golden Knights, who have had a dreamlike run to the Final up till now, the game turned chippy and even more aggressive with players scuffling and trading hits. If the Capitals plan on winning this game, all three of them will need to be at their best. But during the national anthem, after the Capitals fans did their traditional shout of the word "red", the Vegas fans could be heard upholding their own tradition, screaming "night!"

Now, it's a 3-1 deficit in the series and the Golden Knights will look to become the first team since 1942 to win three straight when down 3-1 and win a series.

If the Capitals weren't aware of the speed and skill the Golden Knights possess entering the series, they got a first-hand lesson when they surrendered six goals in the opener. "There was a lot of that (in Game 4). He's young, he's going to have mistakes, and today's a good day", Golden Knights veteran defenseman Deryk Engelland said Sunday.

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"Just gotta know in the back of our heads it's still there", said Vegas defenceman Luca Sbisa. Langley's Shea Theodore has recorded a power-play goal and an assist during the series for Vegas.

Holtby, though, who has been the better of the goaltenders in a series in which he was supposed to be second best to Marc-Andre Fleury, has been everything a championship goalie is supposed to be in the post-season.

Through four games of the final, that number sits at.845, but it mostly reflects the loose play in front of him rather than a drop in form.

"You only get so many chances to stick", said Smith-Pelly, a 2010 second-round pick who bounced from Anaheim to Montreal to New Jersey, never putting up more than 17 points in a season. He scored just seven goals in 75 regular-season games with the Caps in 2017-18.

The Capitals made no such mistake when their first big chance presented itself on the power-play with Oshie burying a rebound of an Evgeny Kuznetsov shot past Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury almost 10 minutes into the opening period. The Golden Knights have had a great deal of success by scoring the first goal in most games and getting outstanding goaltending from Fleury. Not the finish the Golden Knights were hoping for, and now they're officially fighting for their playoff lives. "They took penalties and we're OK with that if they want to take penalties". And they didn't get anything out of it and we came out 3-0 in the first period. He developed into a teammate on and off the ice that helped propel the Capitals to another division title despite losing forwards Justin Williams, Marcus Johansson and Daniel Winnik, and defensemen Nate Schmidt, Karl Alzner and Kevin Shattenkirk last summer. "We'll see what we're made of".

"In Winnipeg, we were like Kim Kardashian before the game".

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