Stanley Cup Final - Washington Capitals angry, resilient after losing Evgeny Kuznetsov - NHL
02 June, 2018, 04:17 | Author: Virgil Todd
A franchise that didn't exist a year ago was four wins (now three) from the Stanley Cup and a team that hasn't sniffed the Stanley Cup Final since America Online was the dominant internet service provider finally found their way back.
"Once he made that save, I knew we were gonna win the game", added Washington coach Barry Trotz. It's good to see him get out there and feel the puck.
The persistent Knights earned a power play and cut the Caps' lead to 3-2 late in the second on Theodore's shot through traffic.
Game two of the final goes at 5:00 p.m. The Caps have one of the best players in the NHL in Alex Ovechkin, but this team has been on such an wonderful run in their first season in the league, that they may be a product of destiny. But Ovechkin scored his first career Stanley Cup Final goal on the power play, and Lars Eller, bumped up the lineup to fill in for Kuznetsov, had a goal and two assists.
With two minutes remaining in Game 2, Washington's goaltender sprawled across his net to thwart a 2-on-1 with a slick stick save on Vegas Golden Knights winger Alex Tuch. He was helpless on both knees instead, left skate sealed against the far post, shoulders and chest squared toward the visiting bench, where captain Alex Ovechkin would soon perform one damn accurate Kevin McCallister impression upon witnessing what miracles the Washington Capitals goalie somehow conjured next.
Holtby went into the third period with 22 saves and Fleury had stopped 17 shots through two periods. The others were Game 2 of the 1936 quarterfinals (Chicago 5, NY Americans 4) and Game 2 of the 1992 Smythe Division semifinals (Los Angeles 8, Edmonton 5).
The Golden Knights aren't sweating the loss in Game 2 even though they weren't sharp enough with the puck, fed Washington's transition game, and didn't generate enough Grade A chances in front of Holtby because they didn't win the battles to get to the front of the net.
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James Neal got behind Washington's defense and sent a wrist shot from the left circle past Braden Holtby 7:58 into the game.
Yes, that cross-check by Reaves happens multiple times per game in an average game, but read that again.
They might not have been in the Stanley Cup Final before. The Golden Knights are 6-2 on the road in the playoffs.
The Washington Capitals trail Vegas 1-0 but are used to playing from behind. Los Angeles went 14-2 in 2012 and the last team to open 13-3 was the 1999 Sabres after they won Game 1 of the final in Dallas on Jason Woolley's overtime goal.
If the Capitals end up winning the Final, they will join the 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins as the only Stanley Cup champions to trail in every series.
"They've basically "caved" it for the last three days", Trotz said to laughter in the T-Mobile Arena interview room before the game against the Vegas Golden Knights.
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James was his usual Game 7 self, dropping 35 points, 15 rebounds, nine assists and two blocks in a complete game performance. It matched Game 7 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals: the Miami Heat and LeBron James vs. the Boston Celtics .
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