LAS VEGAS – The Stanley Cup finals are tied in the name of the Father and Son and Braden Holtby.
The capitals counted their blessings and thanked their goalkeeper for saving a split in Sin City on Wednesday after he had arrived just inches before another crippling collapse. Holtby's miracle staff saves Golden Knights' Alex Knecht in the last minutes of Game 2 – later on by coach Barry Trotz as the work of the "Hockey Gods" held their balance – saved Washington's 3-2 win and helped send their series back to Vegas to DC Even One Game Per Piece
The game, which will go down in caps playoff lore, has its beginning from a random jump on a dump-in of the final tables with two minutes in regulation. The puck raced directly to a rushing Cody Eakin, who brought it to cloth waiting wide open in the high slot. Holtby and defender John Carlson, the only obstacle between the two knights, barely had time to retreat when Tuch released his one-timer against the gaping net.
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What happened next was the theft of the highest order as Holtby swung the crease and extended his right arm, an instant Classics Rescue, fluttering over highlight roles and connecting with Mike Richter and Dominik Hasek, will list the best ever in the Stanley Cup Final.
̵1; Washington Capitals (@Capitals) May 31, 2018
Another record 18,702 viewers in the T Mobile Arena The whole night between the pragame concert in the Imagine Dragons and the usual gigs of a whole bunch of Vegas celebrities responded in unison. The Jumbotron showed "GOAL" in large, offensive lettering. Referee Chris Rooney disappointed quickly. Suddenly the luck of the Golden Knights, at least for a game, was over when Holtby finished his 37-spar masterpiece.
"Thank God he is our goalkeeper," said captain Alex Ovechkin in a nutshell, explaining the phenomenon. His reaction from the bank has in any case led all the talking.
Holtby save with a larcenous, and Ovechkin's reaction is priceless pic.twitter.com/Q0JQYw4xOf
– Hockey Central (@HockeyCentraI) May 31, 2018
"It was a strange game because these boards were really true, "Holtby said about the rescue. "It was a kind of thing we want on the glass because goalies usually stay in the net." (Vegas & Marc-Andre) Fleury has a lot of plans to get this because I've been trying to bring something there, trying to seal where I thought someone would shoot it. Luckily it hit me. "
Holtby's appearance was most likely not a product of divine intervention, but Capitals fans could begin to warm myself to the idea that their prayers might be answered one by one, because one should not make a mistake: that was a game
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Evgeny Kuznetsov, her top-line center and playoff scoring leader, played only 4:26 before getting out in the first period with what the Capitals only an "upper" body "injury. He went into the locker room and favored his left arm and did not return to the game. The caps resorted to a trickle-up effect to improve their scores at 1-0.
They were forced to do so when Nicklas Backstrom missed parts of five games against the Penguins and Lightning
Backstrom advanced to the top row on Ovechkin and Tom Wilson and Lars Eller, who scored seven points in Backstom's absence in the playoffs , jumped back into the scoring role, flanked by Jakub Vrana and TJ Oschi. They did not miss a beat.
Eller scored the equalizer with 2:33 to get a perfect lining from Michal Kempny in the first half, which caught a previously unwavering Fleury way out of the fold.
– Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 31, 2018
Ovechkin broke the tie on a powerplay 5:38 in the second period – one Milestone, as his first goal in a Stanley Cup final game – on aided by Eller, who then set up defender Brooks Orpik for the final game-winning goal. Orpik, the most unlikely of the scorers, stepped into the hurry and fired a shot from the right circle. It was Orpik's first goal since February 2016 (his first in the playoffs since 2014), and it shook the Bank of the Capitals.
"I was screaming," Oshie said. "A leader of our team, who is just one of those old-school, Ultimate Pro guys, I only played with three or four, he's one of them, so to see him rewarded on the match report it is exciting for me. "
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When asked why the bank celebration was so spirited, Eller smiled wryly.
"Brooksie He does not score many goals," he said. "It was a huge one and you need such guys to be successful in the playoffs, you need people to intervene, and sometimes they have to play the way they do not always."
Lars Eller with three points. Brooks Orpik plays like John Carlson. These are things that usually do not break in favor of the capitals, but somehow they have this postseason.
"I think this group has learned so much, we've become so resilient," Trotz told reporters when asked how they managed to sort out the odds, rather than crumble, this year. "I do not think too many people here in the hockey world think that if we lost Nicklas Backstrom in the Pittsburgh series, the Washington Capitals could get that round behind us, and then we'll do a few rounds
" This Group threw everything on it and just said, "You know, we'll keep going. "
Speaking of Holtby's rebound from a Game-1 brief" The Save, "as social media has called it, could be a groundbreaking moment in this series, Shea Theodore scored towards the end of the second half As the Golden Knights invaded the third, Holtby stopped shot by shot as the Golden Knights managed 15 compared to the six capitals.
The Capitals even survived a 1-1 draw. minute, 9-second 5-on-3, suddenly showing a confidence in their ability to kill punishments, that was a blatant weakness against the Lightning and the penguins, as we were there rising at just 75.4 percent
" I do not know where the trust comes from, "Trotz joked." I prayed like crazy. "
With Holtby on his playing, these prayers may not be needed anymore – literally, the moment in which the playoffs take place the capital of a pity Stanley Cup's first-round disaster saw Holtby take the plunge against the Blue Jackets in Round 2 of Match 1 against Phillip Grubauer and stabilize it. He has gone 13-7 since then with a .924 savings percentage (.935 at the same strength), including back-to-back shutouts, to close the Lightning in the conference finals.
For a series so high-scoring – the first two games have more goals (15) than any Stanley Cup final since 1982, when the Islanders and Canucks combined for 21 goals in games 1 and 2 – the capitals find solace in a gate that did not work. Maybe that's not something that should be explained.
"For me it was the hockey gods who made up for it from the last game when (the Golden Knights) tied it up and we did not," Trotz said, referring to Ryan Reave's goal in Game 1, despite that an obvious counterplay was allowed. "I always say that if we play the right way, the hockey gods always put things in order."