Capitals Topple Knights 3-1, Take 2-1 Series Lead


Photo: NHL via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals beat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals Saturday night at Capital One Arena. The win gives the Capitals a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is set for Monday night at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is set for just after 8:00 p.m., est. 

After a scoreless first frame, the Capitals opened the scoring with a goal from Alex Ovechkin just 1:10 into the second period and Evgeny Kuznetsov added a second tally midway through the middle stanza to give the Capitals a 2-0 lead at the second intermission. The Knights would strike-back early in the third period to cut the Caps lead in half, but Devante Smith-Pelly would answer to make it 3-1 with less than seven minutes to go. The Caps would hang-on for the 3-1 win.

STARTERS
Braden Holtby (13-7, 2.19 GAA, .921 sv%) started between the pipes for the Capitals. Marc-Andre Fleury (13-4, 1.88 GAA, .939 sv%) started in goal for the Knights. The Capitals starting forward lines and defensive pairs for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals:

Forward lines:
Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Wilson
Vrana-Backstrom-Oshie
Burakovsky-Eller-Connolly
Stephenson-Beagle-Smith-Pelly
Defensive Pairs:
Kempny-Carlson
Orlov-Niskanen
Orpik-Djoos

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek, Shane Gersich, Travis Boyd Nathan Walker and Pheonix Copley.

FIRST PERIOD
The Capitals and Knights battled to a scoreless draw in the opening frame. The Knights held an early shot advantage, but the Capitals gathered some steam towards the end of the period. Capitals led in shots on goal 7-5 after 20 minutes.

Chandler Stephenson found the back of the net midway through the period, but the goal was waved off when Devante Smith-Pelly collided with Knights netminder Marc Andre-Fleury.

Both teams were 0 for 1 on the man advantage for the first period. The Capitals won the battle at the faceoff dot 72-28% and led in hits 17-12. Capitals also led in blocked shots 15-5.

SECOND PERIOD
The Capitals would strike first with a dirty goal by Alex Ovechkin just 1:10 into the middle frame. John Carlson and Evgeny Kuznetsov were credited with the helpers.

The Capitals would stretch their lead to 2-0 with a goal from Evgeny Kuznetsov at 12:50 of the middle frame. Jay Beagle and T.J. Oshie were credited with the assists.

The period would conclude with the Capitals leading 2-0. The Capitals outshot the Knights 14-8 for the second period, and led 21-13 after two periods of play. Both teams were 0 for 2 after through 40 minutes of play.

THIRD PERIOD
The Knights would cut into the Caps lead with goal from Tomas Nosek at 3:29 of the final frame. The goal was setup by a major miscue by Braden Holtby, who tried to center a pass but the pass was intercepted for the easy tally.

Devante Smith-Pelly would get the two-goal lead right back with a tally at 13:53 of the final frame. Jay Beagle was credited with the assist.

That would be the final.

SHAVINGS

  • Evgeny Kuznetsov gave the Caps a 2-0 lead. That’s his 27th point of the playoffs (12g, 15a), furthering his franchise record for points in a postseason.
  • Alex Ovechkin opened the scoring for the Capitals. That’s his 14th goal of the postseason, tying John Druce (1990) for the most in a franchise history in a single playoff.
  • The NHL box score is here.

SCENES FROM THE DISTRICT

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bji3UzLFP5g/

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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