The Vegas Golden Knights, with a chance to take a 2-0 stranglehold on the Caps, had one of their sloppier performances of the year in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. It’s rare to see slop from the Golden Knights on the ice, but there was something definitely amiss from the Knights in Game 2. Even in Game 1, Vegas didn’t look very sharp, but neither did the Washington Capitals.
It looked more like a backyard game on the rink than Game 1 of a Stanley Cup Final. The Knights just about stole another one in Game 2 without giving their best effort. The Capitals survived following an incredible stick save from Braden Holtby. Holtby could have had a better season this year, but that save made up for all his struggles in 2017-18.
Everyone in the building thought the puck was in the back of the net. Everyone besides Braden Holtby. It may have been a Stanley Cup winning save, but we’ll see how the rest of the series plays out. The series shifts to the United States Capitol for the next two games. All the Capitals need to do is hold serve at home and they’ll be well on their way to winning the Stanley Cup.
It will be a first for Alexander Ovechkin, a long-awaited championship for one of the best the NHL has had to offer in the last decade. The Capitals didn’t get a choke tag for nothing, though, so let’s wait until they win four games. Game 1 and 2 were quite the entertaining matchups. I fully expect another thriller in Game 3. Head below for our free Golden Knights vs. Capitals Game 3 pick of the Stanley Cup Final.
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Washington Capitals Game 3 Pick
Alexander Ovechkin finally sprang free to get on the board, which what amounted to his first ever goal in the Stanley Cup Final. The Knights did an excellent job taking away the passing lanes around the net. In Game 2, Ovechkin neutralized that defence just enough to get free for a cross-ice pass. He doesn’t make many mistakes when there is a desperate goaltender trying to sprawl across to the other side.
Fleury is capable of making some dazzling saves, but Ovi had his number. The Caps were outshot by the Golden Knights, despite a rather lackluster game from Vegas. The Knights hit the net 39 times, while the Capitals had only 26 shots. Holtby should have been the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd star for the game-saver late in regulation.
It kind of went unnoticed throughout Game 2, but Evgeny Kuznetsov was absent for the majority of the contest. Kuznetsov left early after a collision along the boards injured his left arm. It is something serious to note, considering that he is their point-leader in the playoffs and not Ovechkin. He hit the ice for an optional team skate, so indications are that he will suit up for Game 3, but is not going to be at 100 percent if he does.
I expect Garrard Gallant to have this team heading into enemy territory looking much more focused. They may have outshot the Capitals by a margin of 73-54 between Game 1 and 2; however, we’ve seen the Knights look much more disciplined before. Also, the price in this game caught my attention. I was expecting the Capitals to serve as -150 or -155 favourites in this game on home ice. The priciest I see them at the moment is -130. Note that the Golden Knights haven’t lost two in a row all playoffs long. They responded against the Sharks and Jets, two very good teams. Let’s go with the Golden Knights to respond in Game 3 against the Capitals.