Playoffs Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins

It should have been a goal.

Brayden McNabb's floater from the point hit the post and Ryan Carpenter chimed one off the crossbar on the follow up before Vegas failed to connect on another man advantage despite some sustained pressure.

It was deflating. It was game-changing, if not series-changing.

"We didn't get enough second and third chances", coach Gerard Gallant said.

"It probably changes the game. We have to be better and every line has to be better". "They're great in their building". That was close as Vegas would get as Marc-Andre Fleury allowed all six goals on 25 shots.

"At the end of the day, you've got to bury them".

And yet Orpik and Engelland have helped their teams reach the Stanley Cup Final and shown there's still value in having a big defensive defenseman along for the ride - especially this time of year. Heading into Game Four, the Golden Knights trail in the series 2-1 and, for the first time in franchise history, face a significant uphill climb to win a postseason series. This season, Fleury went 29-13-4 with a 2.24 goals against average. "We're going to have surges", Trotz said. "We have a good bunch of character guys in this room".


Red-clad fans are filling the streets of Chinatown before Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights.

Fleury came into the series as the best goaltender in the Stanley Cup playoffs, sporting a 12-3 record, .947 save percentage and 1.68 goals against average.

Teams have been able to keep Vegas on the perimeter in the past - their infamous 8-2 loss against Edmonton back in November saw an average shot distance of 50 feet - but it's quite rare. But this win belonged to the hockey gods as much as it did with any of Washington's star players. "So we got a little lucky there and, yeah, I don't know, maybe it shouldn't have been a 3-0 lead after the first, but you know we will take it".

"We feel their energy". Have the Golden Knights run out of luck or are the Capitals simply playing at a higher level? And when they do, the posts seem to bail them out again and again.

Who knows if things would have been different on Monday night if Neal put the puck in the net?

On the other side of the ice, the Knights find themselves down in a series for the second straight series.

Barring such an epic comeback, the shiny silver trophy won't be headed to the Sin City, and throwing a "losers parade" would probably draw a few eye rolls from across the sports world (as if Vegas has ever cared about outside perceptions).


A Haula deflection in the opening minutes hit post. Instead, it busted it wide open. "I had a wide-open net, and then I just hit the post". It could have been 3-0 for Vegas.

T.J. Oshie, Tom Wilson and Devante Smith-Pelly scored in the first period to get the Capitals rolling against a determined Vegas team that has not found consistent answers against Holtby, who stopped 28 shots in another strong showing.

Jonathan Marchessault issued a challenge after the Vegas Golden Knights were almost run out of the rink to open the Western Conference final against the Winnipeg Jets. If they're in, exactly ... He's been chasing the Stanley Cup since he was a young boy growing up in Summerside, P.E.I., and has never had an opportunity as good as this one to win it. The Caps converted three times, including two on their first two power-play opportunities.

Wilson then converted a give-and-go pass from Kuznetsov to make it 2-0.

That was all they needed.

He did everything the Golden Knights could have asked for during the frenetic sequence.

This series could be won on special teams as Washington has been excellent on the power play. His goal broke up Braden Holtby's shutout bid.


"It's do-or-die for us", said Neal. We're just going to go back home and work hard.

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