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Stanley Cup: Capitals one game from title after feasting on Golden Knights

08 June 2018

Vegas' first major professional sports team is three wins away from completing the greatest and most unlikely championship season in the history of North American sports.

Game 5 is Thursday night in Las Vegas.

Smith-Pelly's goal came after Nosek's tally, and it allowed the Capitals to have a bit of breathing room in the game's final 6:07. "We'll see what we're made of". Nicklas Backstrom added three assists of his own, while Oshie chipped in with two. It was the first goal against Holtby in 62:14 of ice time, since Game 3.

"I think we just play smart, managed the puck well, and the defense was great". And even though Ovechkin had only one assist, he led all players on both teams with four shots.

Fleury has struggled so far this series as he has given up at least three goals in each of the team's three Stanley Cup games this season.

The game's final minutes were chippy with several post-whistle scrums.

Notice how Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Ryan Carpenter alternate in the aggressor role.

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The Washington Capitals got three goals in the first period of Game 4 and are spending much of the second period making sure the lead stands up against the Vegas Golden Knights.

"We still have a lot of minutes to be played, a lot of minutes", said Marc-Andre Fleury, the unflappable goalie who kept the Knights in Game 3 with 23 saves, including a handful of acrobatic ones.

The pixie dust that has enveloped the Vegas Golden Knights' inaugural season is just about gone, and the Washington Capitals are on the verge of finally capturing their long-elusive Stanley Cup. Now, the expansion darlings are in danger of falling short of their ultimate goal unless they can put together three consecutive victories.

"We didn't get enough second and third chances", coach Gerard Gallant said. "He plays the game like everybody else", said Gallant.

The Golden Knights have not held the lead since Game 1 and have been outscored 10-3 since winning the opener.

Washington has blown 3-1 playoffs series leads five times in its last 12 attempts, but there were few signs of such trouble in Game 4.

The Nationals' best-ever local TV rating was a 16.7 for Game 5 of their playoff series against the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012.

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"They compete, they make it hard on guys in front of the net", Holtby said. "We were doing the right things". "So they're quite valuable in series where there's a lot of net pressure and a lot of low play".

Teams have been able to keep Vegas on the perimeter in the past - their infamous 8-2 loss against Edmonton back in November saw an average shot distance of 50 feet - but it's quite rare.

"It's huge", said teammate Devante Smith-Pelly, who scored an insurance goal. The Capitals defeated the Golden Knights 6-2. This was just begging the hockey gods to come and smite the Golden Knights and on Monday, they were duly smoted. "But we just grinded it out, we use our chances, stick to the system, stick to the plan, and we get the result". Monday's Game 4 could put him on the threshold of sheer ecstasy.

When the Penguins trounced the Flyers in the 2008 Eastern Conference final, then survived an epic seven-game series against the Capitals the next year en route to a Cup, that assessment seemed sound.

Added Trotz: "As a coach, you want your top player to set the tone, and he did with his intensity, his physicality, all the details". "Upon learning that it was on the agenda, the Golden Knights requested that it be removed". In the draft, Vegas chose to take goalie Marc-Andre Fleury from the Pittsburgh Penguins as the team hoped that he would carry it to a potential playoff berth.

Teams holding a 3-1 record in the Stanley Cup Final have captured the championship 32 of 33 times.

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Stanley Cup: Capitals one game from title after feasting on Golden Knights