Photo: NHL via Getty Images
The Washington Capitals fell to the Vegas Golden Knights 6-4 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The win gives the Knights a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 2 is set for Wednesday night in Las Vegas. Puck drop is scheduled for some time after 8pm eastern.
The Knights struck first with a power play goal early in the first before the Capitals responded with consecutive goals from Brett Connolly and Nicklas Backstrom to take a 2-1 lead late in the first stanza. The Knights would score just before the end of the period for a 2-2 tie at the first intermission. After the teams exchanged goals in the middle frame for a 3-3 tie at the second intermission, the teams registered tallies early in the final frame for a 4-4 tie early in the third period. The Knights would grab the lead midway through the third period and add an empty net goal late for the 6-4 win.
Braden Holtby (12-6, 2.04 GAA, .924 sv%) started between the pipes for the Capitals. Marc-Andre Fleury (12-3, 1.68 GAA, .947 sv%) started in goal for the Knights. The Capitals starting forward lines and defensive pairs for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals:
Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek, Shane Gersich, Travis Boyd Nathan Walker and Pheonix Copley.
The Knights would open the scoring with a power play goal from Colin Miller at 7:51 of the opening frame. Andre Burakovsky was called for boarding to set up the game’s first power play for the Knights.
Shots on goal were 7-1, Knights, with 8:54 remaining in the first period. The Capitals would tie the game with a redirected goal by Brett Connolly at 14:41 of the first period. Michal Kempny and Andre Burakovsky were credited with the helpers.
The Capitals would take their first lead of the series with a goal from Nicklas Backstrom at 15:23 of the first period. T.J. Oshie and Jakub Vrana were credited with the assists.
But the Knights would quickly tie things up with a goal from William Karlsson at 18:19 of the first period.
The game was tied 2-2 at the first intermission. The Knights outshot the Capitals 11-10 for the first 20 minutes. The Capitals won the faceoff battle 52-48% for the first 20 minutes. The Capitals outhit the Knights 19-11 for the first period.
The Knights would regain the lead with a goal from Reilly Smith at 3:21 of the middle frame.
The Capitals would tie the game with a goal from John Carlson at 8:29 of the middle frame. T.J. Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom were credited with the helpers. Oshie made a beautiful pass to Carlson who was staring at a yawning cage.
The period would end with the game tied 3-3. The Knights outshot the Capitals 14-8 for the middle frame, and led 25-18 after two periods of play.
The Capitals would quickly grab the lead with a redirected goal from Tom Wilson at 1:10 of the final frame. Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov would be credited with the helpers.
The Knights would respond once again. This time Ryan Reaves would pot the tying tally at 2:41 of the third period. The goal was setup by an uncalled cross-checking on John Carlson by Ryan Reaves, leaving Reaves wide open to knock homes a rebound.
The Knights would grab the lead with a goal from Tomas Nosek at 9:44 of the third period.
The Knights would add an empty net goal for the 6-4 win.
- Game 1 included four lead changes, which is a first in NHL history.
- Knights outshot the Capitals 34-38 for the game.
- Knights won the faceoff battle 52-48%.
- Knights were 1 for 1 and the Capitals 0 for 1 on the power play.
- Capitals outhit the Knights 38-25.
- Lars Eller was -3, Devante Smith-Pelly and Jay Beagle were -2.
- Evgeny Kuznetsov extended his franchise-record point streak to 11 games. He is the first player to record a point streak of 11+ games in a postseason since Jonathan Toews (13 GP) and Johan Franzen (12 GP) in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
- Tom Wilson scored to give the Caps a 4-3 lead. That’s Wilson’s 13th point of the playoffs (4g, 9a), and of those 13 points, 12 have come at even strength.
- John Carlson tied the game at three with his 17th point of the postseason (4g, 13a), which is the franchise record for points in a postseason for a defenseman.
- 13,000 fans watched the game at Capital One Arena.
- The NHL box score is here.
SCENES FROM LAS VEGAS