Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Aussie one win from Stanley Cup NHL title

Aussie one win from Stanley Cup NHL title

The play will be remembered as a goal because that is what it was, an off-balance score for Alex Ovechkin that put the Washington Capitals ahead in a Game 3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday night. After posting 18 points in the first 15 games of these playoffs, he has a lone assist and a minus-2 rating against the Capitals. Now they're key pieces for a team one win from the Stanley Cup after the Capitals hit on exactly the kind of moves every championship contender is looking to make.

With Kuznetsov and goaltender Braden Holtby leading the way, the Washington Capitals are a win away from capturing the first title in their 43rd season after routing the Vegas Golden Knights 6-2 on Monday night to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.

Holtby has limited Vegas to a total of five goals in the last three games.

"Shea's a 22-year-old kid who I love, he's a great player".

I think you can make the argument that Marchessault has been Vegas' best player and maybe the best player on the ice (no player has generated more unsafe shots than him on either side), but on the other end of the spectrum is their big goal-scorer in William Karlsson. "Expect Vegas to open up the ice a bit more to increase its chances of odd-man rushes". "I had a wide-open net, and then I just hit the post". Oshie scored, along with John Carlson, Tom Wilson, Michal Kempny and Brett Connolly. They spent the last three minutes roaring, "We want the Cup". Vegas has defied the odds in their first season in existence but now the team faces a 3-1 series deficit.

Before you make your pick, you need to see what SportsLine data scientist Stephen Oh has to say. "We've got to be good defensively". Neal, however, sent the puck off the far post and the Capitals cleared it out of their zone to keep the score at 0-0.

In a odd way, coaching without a contract beyond this season seems to have freed him to challenge players to be more committed than they were in the past and not worry about the consequences. "He's one of the best at his craft".

Smith-Pelly, who scored the insurance goal to ice Game 3, kicked the puck from his left skate to his stick and roofed a shot on Marc-Andre Fleury with 20.5 seconds left in the first period. Playing at the level he is with an injury is hard to overlook for the Conn Smythe.

"It's frustrating and demoralizing", Fleury said of the loss. Coach Gerard Gallant was quick to absolve his goaltender of blame.

After one-for-the-ages game, Durant showered with Twitter love
Durant finished with 43 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists and pretty much put to rest any question about the 2018 Finals MVP. Golden State is just too good and too deep for the Cavs, who are too often exposed as a one-man team powered by James.

"The nucleus of [the Capitals] is Russian, and the country is ecstatic", said Sergei Fedorov, a Russian who starred for the 1997 and 1998 Red Wings and played parts of two seasons with the Capitals at the end of his National Hockey League career. "Nothing he could do on them".

Orpik scored the Game 2 victor - his first goal of any kind since February 26, 2016 and first in the playoffs with the Capitals - and didn't even remember celebrating. "In the three games, we haven't been good enough", he said.

Said Holtby: "To be honest, I thought it was in from my angle".

Somehow, the Capitals have turned around their results at home, winning their past three in Washington after losing five of their first eight.

Game 5 is Thursday night in Las Vegas.

Recently, the state-run newspaper Sport Express triumphantly listed the "most "Russian" finals of the Stanley Cup" from 1993 to the present day, with the 1998 finals at the top with seven Russians playing.

General manager Brian MacLellan, who has said he will address Trotz's future after the Stanley Cup Final, has noticed that Trotz, "seems a little lighter, a little looser" this postseason.

Coach Barry Trotz wants his players to relax and not think too much about the chance in front of them.

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