Gajtka: Capitals Winning Stanley Cup Could Be Best Thing For Penguins

Caps vs Golden Knights pregame Feels like 1998
    	 	  	 
 	  	  		By Chris Cerullo

Caps vs Golden Knights pregame Feels like 1998 By Chris Cerullo

The Washington Capitals are one win away from the first championship in their 43-year history after routing the Vegas Golden Knights 6-2 on Monday night to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Final. "You just get excited". It started off with him missing a wide-open net and hitting iron in a baffling sequence that proved to be costly for Vegas.

"I thought they defended well", Vegas forward James Neal 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.

Captain Alex Ovechkin gave the Caps the lead with a goal in the second period.

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He snuck down to the 100 section during the last minutes of Game 3 on Saturday, and tossed the crab over the glass. He is leading the playoffs in points and it looks like he will continue to play through the injury until the end of the Stanley Cup finals. "The problem is we should be in the minors, '" former Washington forward Ron Lalonde said. He scored just seven goals in 75 regular-season games with the Caps in 2017-18.

Washington's outlasting of Pittsburgh in the second round this year already changed that dynamic, but a Caps championship parade down Pennsylvania Avenue - actually, who knows where a D.C. title parade goes? - would finally give the red-rockers something to crow about. The Knights had the better of the shots on goal Monday night, but certainly not the better of chances. The Capitals' strategy of making lateral passes to get Fleury moving side-to-side is proving effective at even strength and on a power play that's scoring at a 26.7 percent clip.

It's the latest impact Kempny has made on his new team after fitting in as a top-four defenseman alongside John Carlson. But the glare of the final has become too much for the Golden Knights.

The Capitals took the lead in the series after Saturday's 3-1 win in Washington.

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He was especially great through the first 40 minutes and left the Knights completely frustrated when the output numbers suggested that they probably should've been winning. Suddenly, the Capitals are a suffocating defensive team that clogs the middle of the ice and makes even the fastest of opponents look slow. Still, they were completely blanked, largely because Holtby was extremely solid between the pipes. "So they're quite valuable in series where there's a lot of net pressure and a lot of low play". Marc-Andre Fleury still hasn't been the monster he was through the first three rounds. Holtby has the save of the series and a save percentage of.912. He had a.947 postseason mark heading into the series.

Smith added another with 7:35 left in the game, but Michal Kempny answered with a goal little more than minute later to restore a three-goal lead. His willingness to throw the body in the offensive zone played a key role in both of the goals in which he had assists on.

Is the difference that Vegas is a well-balanced skilled team, but Washington is a well-balanced skilled team that has the added element of stars such Ovechkin, Kuznetsov and Carlson?

Gallant said Miller broke his nose on the play, but it appeared the contact was with Oshie's helmet. Although Washington has been the better team throughout this series, the Golden Knights have responded to adversity extremely well this postseason and I think that the team will come out more focused tonight. Ryan Reaves and Brayden McNabb both tried to get a piece of Oshie, and McNabb ended up delivering a bad hit that could have ended way worse than it did.

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