It’s do-or-die for the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. Technically, no, this isn’t a true win or go home game, but I am fairly confident that the Golden Knights are not winning three games in a row over the Washington Capitals. Not with an ultra-determined Alexander Ovechkin. The Capitals coasted to a 3-1 win over the Knights in Game 3. The Golden Knights my have pulled within 1, but even then, the momentum and play was shifted in the Capitals’ favour.
The Knights were unable to take the freebie goal and turn it into an extra boost. Braden Holtby made a bad play behind the net handling the puck, and Vegas was able to pop the puck into an empty net. I was looking for the Golden Knights to come out flying and taking it to Washington after that, but they still kind of played lackadaisical hockey. Instead of getting physical, the Capitals brushed them off pretty easily and didn’t allow many scoring chances.
With that said, kudos to the Capitals for not folding up shop following that miscue in front of the net. Some teams would get down on themselves, and considering how much they’ve choked over the years, it wouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone. What the Knights have to do is get back on the forecheck. The Capitals were afforded way too many odd-man rushes, as the Knights got caught often. Fleury bailed them out as much as he could, but they add up over the course of 60 minutes. The Golden Knights need a win tonight. Let’s see what happens in Game 4. Head below for our free Golden Knights vs. Capitals Game 4 pick.
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Washington Capitals Game 4 Pick
Unlike the loss for Vegas in Game 2, the Golden Knights were outshot in Game 3 by a margin of 26 to 22. There just wasn’t much activity from the Knights in the previous game. The Golden Knights went from allowing a goal to getting a power play. Well, the goal was immediately called back due to goaltender interference. The power play went absolutely no where for Vegas. There was a part of me that thought they had to score there, despite it being a 0-0 game and early on in the contest. The Knights have done such an impressive job flying out of the gates and getting early leads. Their legs just weren’t underneath them, though.
The different between this season and previous for the Capitals is that Ovechkin is getting a lot of help. Holtby has elevated his game to another level, while his supporting cast has been terrific. I believe that save by Holtby at the end of Game 2 just took a lot of air out of Vegas. It almost felt like they were still thinking about it in Game 3.
After everyone watched what happened in Game 3, there isn’t going to be much faith in the Knights to win the Stanley Cup. However, this is the biggest game of the series right here. The Knights get a win and they head back to Vegas with a chance to go up 3-2. They’ll control home ice again. The last time Fleury was in Washington for a playoff game, before his time with the Golden Knights, he shut the Caps out in a Game 7 as a Penguin. Don’t sleep on him yet. Fleury is capable of going berserk and stealing a game. He leads all goaltenders in the playoffs for a reason. If the Knights lose on Monday night this series is caput, but I think this group of misfits has one last push in them. It isn’t a big play by any means, but I’m banking on a 2-2 series going back to Las Vegas.