Capitals' suffocating pressure is frustrating Golden Knights

Doug Mendoza
June 8, 2018

It was the second game in a row where Vegas had trouble getting into the heart of Washington's defence. Campbell River's Brett Connolly scored one goal in the first game of the final, but has since been unable to find the scoresheet for the Capitals.

Evgeny Kuznetsov, the NHL's leading scorer in the playoffs with 31 points, added four assists.

T.J. Oshie had three points (a goal and two assists) for Washington and he was a dominant physical presence in this game. He finished with 28 saves.

Vegas didn't have a lot to brag about in Game Three, but their penalty kill was solid.

Said Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury: "The puck just did not want to come in for us".

Neal sent a shot over the shoulder of Capitals goalie Braden Holtby and into the corner of the net for Vegas' first goal with 14:17 to play.

"One win away; it's the hardest one", said Alex Ovechkin, who is trying to become the first Russian player to captain a Stanley Cup champion. Neal fired across the crease and Holtby extended his paddle, much like he did in robbing Alex Tuch in the final minute of Game 2.

"Obviously, when you're a goalie, you don't want to get scored on", Fleury said.

It's as if the Washington Capitals have learned the secret of the Vegas Golden Knights' magic, decoded their DNA and discovered a way to eliminate their superpowers. 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. "It can change in a hurry if we play our game".

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare said he and his Vegas teammates can't win three games in one night, so they have no choice but to focus on the next opportunity to stave off elimination. It's a new day, we've got to get ready for Game 4, and you've just got to tell him to make it simple.

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The Vegas Golden Knights announced on Sunday it will be hosting a Game 4 watch party on Monday, presented by the D Las Vegas.

He snuck down to the 100 section during the last minutes of Game 3 on Saturday, and tossed the crab over the glass. It's great to see, and he's as engaged as anyone could ever be, I think. "There's things that they do that have given us some difficulties and we've adjusted". "But we have a good bunch of guys with a lot of character in the room".

Oshie opened the scoring when he skated in from the right side and was undetected by the Vegas defense, creating a rather significant gap to deliver the shot at 9:54 of the first period.

In game three, Ovechkin and Kuznetsov each had a goal in the second period which gave the Capitals a commanding two goal lead approximately halfway through the contest.

They posed near St. Basil's Cathedral and even took the silver prize to be photographed in front of the mausoleum of Vladimir Lenin.

His team would endure a bruising start to the game, with Vegas administering relentless pressure and gaining a power play in the first 10 minutes.

"He made a couple mistakes, ended up in the back of our net", Gallant said.

But that first chance was a major blown opportunity for Vegas, especially because it cost them an opportunity to seize early momentum and get a little confidence back after two straight losses.

Tatar has not played since Game 3 of the Western Conference final against Winnipeg. The Golden Knights never evened the score.

According to Ticket IQ, the cheapest Game 4 tickets are up nearly $400 from last week.

Wilson then converted a give-and-go pass from Kuznetsov to make it 2-0.

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