Washington Capitals vs. Vegas Golden Knights, 5-30-2018 - Expert Prediction

Washington Capitals vs. Vegas Golden Knights, 5-30-2018 - Expert Prediction

Washington Capitals vs. Vegas Golden Knights, 5-30-2018 - Expert Prediction

Nosek's victor at 9:44 of the final period came after Vegas defenceman Shea Theodore moved down the sideboards and fed the wide-open winger for his second goal of the playoffs.

The Eastern Conference champion Capitals hadn't given up this many goals in 29 games since March 18, but they hadn't seen anything like this charmed run by the upstart Knights. Commissioner Gary Bettman and NBC executives must have loved it.

Shortly before the empty-net goal, Lars Eller of the Capitals had the puck go off the end of his stick blade with a wide-open net in front of him and a chance to tie the game.

Los Angeles, San Jose and Winnipeg provided little resistance to William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith. Just imagine if there's a Game 7.

The trio combined for 47 points in the first three rounds of the playoffs and added four more Monday.

Back on May 1, with Vegas leading its second-round series against the Sharks two-games-to-one and the Capitals and Penguins even at one game apiece, Harper tweeted, "Could you imagine a Golden Knights vs. Capitals Stanley Cup?" Smith waited on Holtby's glove side on that play, before eventually getting a pass from Deryk Engelland and putting it on net for a 3-2 edge.

Ryan Reaves is best known as a fighter. Nosek battled onto the roster after playing 11 games last season with the Red Wings and has been a healthy scratch three times in the playoffs.

"We kept battling back", Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant said. "They're a huge part of our group".

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The Golden Knights have exceeded every expectation by utilizing a rich expansion draft and multiple clever coaching moves to create a team that dominated the Pacific Division and then rampaged through the Western Conference playoffs.

The electric atmosphere around T-Mobile Arena started two hours prior to the late-afternoon start time, with rapper Lil Jon revving up the crowd in a packed plaza outside the rink before a pre-game spectacle on the ice with actors portraying a knight and his archers defeating an invading army - in this case, the Capitals. I was probably the same as everybody else - 'We'll see how they do after 10 or 15 games after the excitement has worn off, or if we're for real.' And then damn if it doesn't keep going. "That's the exciting thing". The Capitals countered with a series of brilliant offensive-zone sequences and sustained offensive-zone shifts that clearly bothered the Vegas blueline and, perhaps more notably, Marc-Andre Fleury.

Rebounds have continued to haunt Holtby, who fell to 12-7 in the playoffs.

Both struggled Monday, and whichever recovers faster will give his team an enormous advantage.

Holtby also allowed a number of sketchy rebounds, especially in the second period.

Reaves was a bit fortunate, as the officials failed to whistle what was a clear cross-check by Reaves on John Carlson before the Golden Knights forward poked the puck home. Well, game one didn't go as planned as they lost by a score of 6-4.

The Capitals likely hold an edge against Vegas in overall talent on the blue line.

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