Caps' suffocating pressure frustrating Golden Knights as Washington leads series 2-1

Lynette Rowe
June 8, 2018

Here's another, lengthier example; Reilly Smith and William Karlsson alternate up top. 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. He brushed off a puck to the face at the morning skate Monday and scored a back-breaking goal that night. "We hit two posts, we had some good chances and we got nothing out of it".

In the first period, Vegas sniper James Neal had a wide-open net and it looked like Holtby stretched his paddle out and made another miracle save, following up his miracle save on Alex Tuch in Game 2. The team, which didn't make the playoffs until 1983, played in suburban Landover, Md., and breaking into the market was hard in a city that already had the NFL, NBA and professional soccer.

The Caps' 6-2 victory gave them a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. "If you can hold either the red line or the blue line with layers of support, you can force teams into turnovers, and we've done a good job of that". "I heard (about puck luck) last series, people were saying that", said Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant.

The Golden Knights lost three games in a row only three times during the regular season. Washington certainly did that on Monday night.

I'll spare you the lame jokes about bugs and windshields, but I'd bet that if you took a poll of Penguins fans - or even the actual players - before the 2018 playoffs, you would've seen the Flyers listed as the opponent that most gets the blood boiling and brain percolating.

Teammates celebrate with Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie, center of the huddle, after his goal in the first period.

The Caps' penalty kill also went 4-for-4 on the night, although Vegas' lone strike came just seconds after a third period power play expired.

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Ok, so the Golden Knights have been around for less than a year, but is it too early to ask for the "Old" Knights to come back?

The Golden Knights had the edge in shots (30-23) and scoring chances (31-21) in this game but Braden Holtby was a major factor in Vegas ending up on the wrong side of the scoreboard. "They're great in their building".

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. Still, they were completely blanked, largely because Holtby was extremely solid between the pipes.

"We're in a familiar situation with a lot of doubters". He had a.947 postseason mark heading into the series. Oshie added a pair of assists while Nicklas Backstrom had three. His willingness to throw the body in the offensive zone played a key role in both of the goals in which he had assists on. Amid that, Connolly scored on a five-on-three power play with 1:09 left.

Whether or not Oshie's elbow caught Miller is up for debate. Now they go back on the road with a chance to finish off this improbable run.

Just over five minutes later, Oshie opened the scoring on a power play by taking a Kuznetsov rebound, kicking the puck up to his stick and depositing it into an empty net behind Marc-Andre Fleury.

The Caps' captain has 14 goals in this year's playoffs, matching Winnipeg's Mark Scheifele for the most in the league and also tying John Druce's single-year franchise record set in 1990. "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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