Photo: NHL via Getty Images
With a 3-1 series lead in the 2018 Stanley Cup Final, the Capitals head into Game 5 on Thursday night in Las Vegas looking to clinch the franchise’s first Stanley Cup title.
Should the Capitals lose on Thursday night, they would return to Capital One Arena on Sunday for Game 6 at 8:00 PM.
After entering Game 3 with a losing home playoff record, the Capitals come out of their two-game homestand with a 6-5 record on home ice. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov leads all players in playoff scoring with 31 points (12 goals, 19 assists) in 23 games played, including four helpers in the Capitals’ 6-2 Game 4 victory. The Caps now own an all-time playoff record of 131-143, and Thursday night’s game will be the first-ever Game 5 of a Stanley Cup Final in franchise history. Since allowing Vegas’ six goals in Game 1, the Capitals have limited the Golden Knights to just five total goals in the last three games, per Caps Senior Writer Mike Vogel.
Should the Capitals secure a victory on Thursday night, it will be the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in 44 years of existence. It would also be the first Stanley Cup for captain Alex Ovechkin and Head Coach Barry Trotz, who have been in the league for 13 and 19 seasons, respectively.
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
The Golden Knights had played just 15 playoff games prior to the Stanley Cup Final, and now find themselves facing a mountain of adversity. The Golden Knights’ loss on Monday was their first loss by more than two goals since their 4-0 loss to the San Joe Sharks in the second round of the playoffs. the Golden Knights’ current three-game losing streak is their first since late February, when they went 0-2-1.
The Golden Knights have struggled to find much offense in this series after averaging 3.27 goals per game during the regular season. After a stellar postseason prior to this series, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has fallen back to earth since Game 1. In the first four games of the Finals, Fleury has allowed 16 goals in four games, with a meager .845 save percentage.
With 30 more shots in Game 4, Vegas continues to lead the Caps in shots by a wide margin, 125-103.
While down in shots, the Capitals lead the Golden Knights in faceoff wins, winning 128 of 255 total draws (50.2%) through four games, while the Golden Knights have won 127 of 255 total draws (49.8%).
The Capitals have scored four power play goals on 12 power play opportunities, a conversion percentage of 33.3%. The Golden Knights, meanwhile have scored just two goals on 12 power play opportunities for a meager conversion percentage of 16.7%.
In Game 4 the Capitals generated most of their shots in front of the Golden Knights’ net, as well as from the right point and somewhat more from the left point. The Golden Knights generated most of their shots from the slot and in front of the net, as well as from the left point.
The Capitals scored five of their six goals from high danger locations (37%) and one in medium danger scoring areas. The Golden Knights scored one of their goals in high danger areas and one in low danger areas.
Game 4 Highlights:
By Michael Fleetwood