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
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For the first time in weeks, last night Marc Andre-Fleury didn’t look anything like Georges Vezina…..problem was, neither did Braden Holtby. That, porous defense, questionable officiating and inadequate rebound control conspired to do us in, IMHO. But in spite of the foregoing I was encouraged by the size of the fight in our dogs, so to speak, and I think we’ll improve in all areas as the series moves ahead.
Then again, we’d better…
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