Vegas has defied the odds in their first season in existence but now the team faces a 3-1 series deficit.
The Caps broke things open late in the first period.
James Neal, whose bottom lip was swollen and leaking blood, was sitting in his locker still wondering how in the world he didn't score. The Capitals are still a narrow moneyline favorite (-115), and a big underdog when giving 1.5 goals (+255). But they went 0-for-6 on the power play and have hit seven posts in their past two games.
The scoring chances were 11-4 in Vegas' favor in that first period, but the Capitals took advantage of almost all their opportunities to head into intermission with a 3-0 lead. T.J. Oshie, Tom Wilson and Devante Smith-Pelly all scored in the first 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.
Ovechkin exulted, as usual, after his second-period goal Saturday night. A power play the other way and the Caps take advantage again. They are blocking more shots, getting more timely saves, and - most importantly - converting on more scoring opportunities.
Alex Ovechkin: Ovie is the only player to record at least one point in every game of the Stanley Cup final. He knows all about the plastic rats in Florida, the octopi in Detroit and the catfish in Nashville.
"If you want to win, you gotta do the not-so-sexy things and that's one of the things".
Merritt bought a crab from a local restaurant before Game 3 and brought it into the arena with hope. People said the Golden Knights wouldn't lose three straight and are now saying there is no way the Capitals can win four in a row. And though Game 4 is not an elimination game, it could be argued that the stakes are as high. "They're a special group, you have to honor what they have". He got a great ovation from the crowd when lifted his Broncos jersey to reveal a Capitals sweater. "Put some pressure, hit some posts", Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. Not long after that, Smith-Pelly scored from a tough angle on the left side after a weird bounce.
But Neal actually missed the clear net, hit the far goal post with his shot and the puck bounced to Holtby, who was making his way to the middle of the net.
Notice how Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Ryan Carpenter alternate in the aggressor role.
"They compete, they make it hard on guys in front of the net", Holtby said. Game 1 is a mere week passed. Many Russian hockey fans devotedly watch the Stanley Cup playoffs each year, either on cable television or by paying a fee and streaming games on NHL.com.
Gallant, however, would not confirm that Perron would be the one scratched for Monday's game.
The atmosphere was electric before the game. It's a team game.
Fall Out Boy is playing the pregame concert at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, two days after Sting and Shaggy. "So we got a little lucky there and, yeah, I don't know, maybe it shouldn't have been a 3-0 lead after the first, but you know we will take it".
Perhaps they will fall apart, but the prediction here is that they will respond with strength and goal. The cheapest tickets available on Ticket IQ and StubHub are more than $1,000 each. In four games against Washington, Fleury has allowed 16 goals on 103 shots, a pedestrian.845 save percentage that speaks as much to Vegas crashing back down to earth as a team.
Gallant will not say Perron is the one coming out of the lineup, only that Tatar is coming in. He plays the game like everybody else. Since it is Vegas' first official season in the National Hockey League, the organization partook in an expansion draft during the offseason.
Kuznetsov leads all playoff scorers with 31 points.