Burnside: Vegas welcomes Washington to its playoff club

Burnside: Vegas welcomes Washington to its playoff club

So it's only fitting that after Game 1 of the 2018 Stanley Cup final, the most pivotal question facing the Washington Capitals is how they're going to stop the Vegas Golden Knights' fourth line.

Game two also takes place in Las Vegas, on Wednesday at 20:00 local time (Thursday, 04:00 BST).

Nosek's victor at 9:44 of the final period came after Vegas defenceman Shea Theodore moved down the boards and put his wide-open teammate's second goal of the playoffs on a silver platter at the side of Holtby's net.

To be fair, the defence in front of him was rather porous on Monday with four of the goals coming a point blank; one was an empty-netter. "We went down 4-3, and we never quit".

Carlson hit his second post of the night a few minutes on Fleury, who entered with a.947 save percentage in the playoffs, before Smith came right back and hit the post at the other end.

Wilson then delivered a blindside hit on Jonathan Marchessault with the puck nowhere near the Vegas centre, but was only assessed two-minute penalty for interference, while David Perron went off for cross checking in the ensuing scuffle. Vegas also was guilty of blowing two leads, of 1-0 in the first and 3-2 in the second. And while Tom Wilson got credit for Washington's fourth goal, the puck slid into the net after Fleury kicked it in himself after getting caught under his skate. Midway through the second period, the Capitals and Golden Knights are tied 3-3.

Then Michael Buffer did the player introductions. But Washington's 2-1 lead did not last long.

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A drum line with flashing lights pumped up the crowd during breaks, while Canadian-born professional fan Cameron Hughes danced and hurled T-shirts into the stands.

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

The Knights opened the scoring at 7:15 of the first when Miller buried his first with a power-play blast that beat a screened Holtby, but the Capitals equalized at 14:41 when Connolly tipped his fifth between his own legs.

"I expect us to have a response, we have more to our game", said Caps coach Barry Trotz.

Reaves and Wilson are two guys that aren't afraid to mix it up at any given opportunity, so we'll see if the animosity they helped stir up carries over into Game 2. "I think we have another level to our game, that's the exciting thing". And as the clock ticked down on Game 1 and the frenzied fans inside T-Mobile Arena raucously serenaded their boys for their seventh home playoff win against just one loss, you know players and coaches in Los Angeles, San Jose and Winnipeg were watching the topsy-turvy, helter-skelter offering and nodding their heads in grim acknowledgment.

Alex Ovechkin was held to one assist and two shots on goal in the first Cup final game of his career.

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