Stanley Cup Final: Game 1
Washington Capitals vs. Vegas Golden Knights
Monday, May 28th, 8 pm ET | TV: NBC
• Updates in the game: After a power play goal that gave Las Vegas a 1-0 lead, the Capitals rallied 2-1, but Wild Bill Karlsson dodged 2-2. ( Read More)
• The capitals have been great this off-season, but the Golden Knights are among the League's best home teams. (Read more)
• Washington did not have a morning skate because it was at 5 pm. local launch, but do not expect any lineup changes. (Read more)
• Evgeny Kuznetsov is the top scorer in the postseason with 24 points in 19 games. (Read more)
• Watch the capitals come to this point with a season timeline. (Read more)
Efficient Capitals strike again: Forty-two seconds after Connolly, T.J. Oshie's wraparound attempt ended on the pitch of Nicklas Backstrom, who lifted the puck over Marc-Andre Fleury's left block for a 2-1 lead in Washington. The capitals have two goals on five shots. That will work. – SA
We're about: With 5:19 in the first half, the Capitals have done something no other guest team did in stoppage time at the T-Mobile Arena: score a goal. Brett Connolly steered Michal Kempny's tightly pressed backs of his hands between his legs, from the inside of the post and behind the net to Marc-Andre Fleury. "This is called a playoff-like goal," said Pierre McGuire of NBC. SA
Holtby is busy: Vegas' # 8: 2 lead on goal shots with 5:43 in the first half is somewhat surprising, given Washington's six out of seven games during Tampa's East stage Bay has overtaken The Conference Finals and the Golden Knights have been played in four out of five games in the Western Conference Finals. "The capitals get some chances," said Doc Emrick of NBC after Brett Connolly ripped a shot over Marc-Andre Fleury, " b but most of them do not go near the net."
No O for the Caps: Marc-Andre Fleury was one of the stars of the Golden Knights playoffs, and his numbers will be even more impressive if the Capitals do not make further shots against him. Eleven minutes after the first half, it is 7: 1 in favor of the home team. – SA
Vegas announces its presence with authority: Washington crossed the playoffs largely by dominating equally strong forces, but early on the Golden Knights dominated in the 5 vs. 5 game. They beat the capitals 5 to 1 at the same strength with a 3-0 chance to score and have the first tally of the game in power play. Vegas now has a 66 percent chance of winning Game 1, according to Moneypuck's win-win formula.
The Golden Knights defeated opponents 8-4 in the playoffs with equal strength by 1. Caps outscore opponents 6-1 while at one. – Neil Greenberg
Vegas at a Familiar Place: While they did not make their first appearances in four games in the first six minutes, the Golden Knights took the twelfth place 1-0 in 16 games this postseason. Vegas is 10-1 when scored first in the playoffs. – SA
Golden Knights first hit the powerplay: Andre Burakovsky was sent to the pits at 14:07 to climb Cody Eakin. While the Golden Knights are not nearly as dangerous as the Lightning, they are 1-1 in Game 1 after Colin Miller tore a slap shot past Braden Holtby with 7:15 in the first round. Erik Haula provided a screen in front of Holtby on the game. – SA
Vegas Starts Fast: Almost six minutes into the game, there were 5-1 Golden Knights, including some good looks for Jonathan Marchessault. As Rob Carlin mentioned at NBC Sports Washington's foreplay, Vegas took a 5-0 lead in injury time on Monday, when they scored in the first six minutes of the first half, something the Golden Knights have done in the last three Had played the Western Conference finals. Thanks to Braden Holtby, the Capitals have seven seconds to survive the first six minutes unharmed. – SA
D.C. Also Knows How To Celebrate: While the Knights chased away all sorts of A-list stars before Game 1, do not forget that the Caps also have their share of celebrity fans. It's not too early to imagine an introduction to Game 3 featuring performances by Chuck Todd, Bret Baier and Scott Van Pelt. Good. OK. Maybe it's too early for that. – Dan Steinberg
So, for this intro: The preparation show in the T-Mobile Arena, one of the biggest productions in all sports, did not disappoint. It was the mascot of the Golden Knight of Las Vegas, which defeated five skaters who were the champions of the East, flaming arrows and glowing drums. As my sister wrote: "I live for this Disney on Ice: NHL Edition."
Michael Buffer was there too. "Las Vegas, are you ready?" Said the famous ring announcer. "For the thousands who are present and the millions around the world who wish they could be here … let's get ready for rummmmmmmbbbbblllle." We were not quite ready to rumble as Buffer still had to announce the starting lineups. – Scott Allen
A Need for Speed: Speed will be a buzzword in this series. The Golden Knights are fast, and it seems they have the advantage over Washington in this regard, but that does not seem to be the case. Vegas made 32 steady-strength rush attempts in 3,707 minutes in these playoffs. Washington now has 42 rush attempts over 4,853 minutes. In other words, these two teams are almost identical in terms of the rush efforts made every 60 minutes of the game.
"Tender Love: Marc-Andre Fleury has a .947 savings amount with four lockouts during the Golden Knight & # 39; to run the Stanley Cup Final. But he is beatable. A large number of the goals scored against him (19 percent) appeared on his glove side as a top shelf, with a similar proportion of goals on his blocker side being low. In addition, 12 of the 27 goals scored against Fleury during the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs were in the slot or kink, making it imperative that the capitals get close to the Golden Knights netminder and generate additional traffic.
The Best of the Best: In each championship run, the best players in a team have to be their best players, and Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov set the tone throughout the postseason. Ovechkin leads the team in goals (12), scoring chances (80) and rebounds from his shot attempts (11). Kuznetsov is second in the goals (11), first in points (24) and after Ovechkin in high risk chances (28), these attempts shot into the slot and the fold.
As a result, Washington's top line of Ovechkin, Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson were sensational in the playoffs. These three have outperformed opponents 13 to 8 with the same strength by 111 to 75 points.
• Home Sweet Home: The Golden Knights had one of the best in the NHL In the regular season (29-10-2), they set their home records, and they took this to a new level in their run to the Stanley Cup final. Vegas has lost only one playoff game in the T-Mobile Arena. In the meantime, the Capitals have occasionally fought at their home game, but they are an impressive 8-2 on the road. Washington even has a superstition where a team member makes a hot move before the game, and as coach Barry Trotz won the solo skate in front of a winning 7 game in Tampa Bay, he did so again in Las Vegas on Sunday.
The team that wins Game 1 wins the series – and the Stanley Cup – 78% of the time, but if Washington can simply return to the Capital One Arena after the two games in the desert, then the team is in good shape State.
As for the Vegas flu, do not expect the capitals to get caught up in it.
"We're going [to Vegas] to play hockey, not to party and play casino," said Captain Alex Ovechkin. "We go there to play hockey and do our thing, and then we'll have all summer and whatever we want to do, we can do it."
• Goalkeeper: The captains have witnessed some impressive goalkeepers until then: Columbus Sergei Bobrovsky, Pittsburgh's Matt Murray and Tampa Bay Andrei Vasilevskiy. Now Washington has to deal with Marc-Andre Fleury, with whom the team is very familiar. Fleury ousted the capitals a year ago when he started for the penguins in the second round.
He was in a tear this off-season: saving .947 percentage and a 1.68 goals – against four-lockout average. In Washington's network, Braden Holtby has been strong since reclaiming the starting job two games into the playoffs, and he has just posted back-to-back shutouts. Holtby has a .924 save percentage with a 2.04 goals – against the average in 18 playoff games.
"Obviously he plays well, he has always been a good goalie," said Holtby of Fleury. "I think for us it's more about creating those chances because they do not give up a lot, they're pretty stingy, and if you've seen their playoff run, they're pretty aggressive on the defensive and if we succeed This will make no difference to a goalkeeper, it creates a chance that no goalkeeper can stop, that's how we succeeded in these playoffs and we need to continue that. "
• Defend Ovechkin: The Golden Knights defenders have a number of difficult tasks in this series – Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nicklas Backstrom, the top scorers in the last six and so on – but no one will be as bleak as trying to slow down Alex Ovechkin.
Ovechkin scored 22 points this season (12 goals, 10 assists) and scored four victories over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals in three of the capitals, his strike from the left-wing side of the field being deadly from anywhere in the zone and the Golden Knights, like all teams, will be focused on pushing Ovechkin to keep him from unleashing him, which will be particularly important in the power play, where Ovechkin pitches in left margin and often punishes opposing teams.
The Golden Knights penalty killed 10th in the NHL during the regular season, killing seven of the Winnipeg Jets' eight power play opportunities in the last two Western Conference finals games, and this unit will have to be carefully considered by Ovechkin to have a similar success, but there is also the danger of paying too much attention to it.
"He played great hockey, a We're more worried about the Washington Capitals than a player, "said Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant after his team's optional morning skate on Monday. "He will be a key player for them, we have to be extra careful when he's on the ice, but they have really good players."
Washington's expected lineup
Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana-Nicklas Backsrom-TJ Oshie
Andre Burakovsky-Lars Eller-Brett Connolly
Chandler Stephenson-Jay Beagle-Devante Smith-Pelly
Michal Kempny-John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov-Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik -Christian Djoos
Braden Holtby (starter )
Vegas awaited lineup
Jonathan Marchessault-William Karlsson-Reilly Smith
Alex Cloth-Erik Haula James Neal
David Perron-Cody Eakin-Ryan Zimmermann
Ryan Reaves-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Tomas Nosek
Brayden McNabb-Nate Schmidt
Deryk Engelland-Shea Theodore
Luca Sbisa-Colin Miller
Marc-Andre Fleury (Starter)
Malcolm Subban, the usual substitute goalkeeper of the Golden Knights, remains with an unknown injury day after day. Golden Knights manager Gerard Gallant said he expects Subban to return sometime during the Stanley Cup series, but he did not say when that might be.
Evgeny Kuznetsov: The postseason was catastrophic for Kuznetsov two years ago: a goal and an assist through 12 games. He showed that it was a stroke of luck and he enjoys the big stage. In the last playoffs, he scored five goals with five assists in twelve games. In this run he has 11 goals and 13 assists through 24 games, not just the top scorer of the capitals, but the top-point producer of the NHL in the postseason. All three goals were balanced except for three goals, and especially as Nicklas Backstrom injured his right forefinger, Kuznetsov has prevailed as the top center and top player for Washington. He and Ovechkin are likely to face Las Vegas' best defensive pairing with Brayden McNabb and former team-mate Nate Schmidt.
Jonathan Marchessault: The Golden Knights have been making quick starts all season, and the fast Marchessault has been a major factor in their offensive outbursts at the start of the Games. The top-line winger had four goals in the Golden Knights series and won the jets in the Western Conference Finals, including just 35 seconds after a 4-2 win in Game 3. There will be a ton of energy in T-. Mobile Arena on Monday – with the Golden Knights playing in their first Stanley Cup final after a notable opening season – and Marchessault (as well as line-mates William Karlsson and Reilly Smith) have a chance to maintain a harsh atmosphere if they can get off early
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