Stanley Cup: Capitals one game from title after feasting on Golden Knights

Jonathan Marchessault trolls Alex Ovechkin with ‘hot lap’ before Game Three	 	 
 		 
 
  	 
	 		By Elyse Bailey

"It's just kind of a group mentality to make life hard on them", winger Tom Wilson said. You're not going to see a lot of offense.

Michal Kempny of the Washington Capitals celebrates his third-period goal against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final at Capital One Arena on June 4, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

After their third win in a row, the Capitals hold a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Caps saw Oshie add an assist while Nicklas Backstrom logged a pair of assists followed by Evgeny Kuznetsov who added three helpers to make a victor of Braden Holtby and his 28 saves. He finished with 28 saves.

Both teams have played effectively this postseason with Washington at 14-8 and Vegas dropping just five of its 18 games. "Obviously, the defense was awesome tonight".

After being one of the best players in the league for years and failing to come through in the postseason, Ovechkin is on his way to changing his legacy.

The game's final minutes were chippy with several post-whistle scrums.

On the first, he took out Cody Eakin, which left plenty of space for John Carlson to rip home a power play goal from the left circle.

Vegas lines this morning: Marchessault-Karlsson-Smith, Neal-Haula-Tuch, Tatar-Eakin-Carpenter, Nosek-Bellemare-Reaves.

Trotz said he can sense when skilled teams like the Knights start to get frustrated, but added he also expects a response. Then he popped the puck up and over goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Now, the expansion darlings are in danger of falling short of their ultimate goal unless they can put together three consecutive victories.

"It was frustrating", head coach Gerard Gallant said. "It shows in his game, and it shows in the effect that it has on the rest of us".

"We don't dwell on the game before, let alone things that happened in years past", Oshie said. Washington was looking to take a very commanding lead on Monday night while Vegas was looking to bring the series back to Vegas tied at 2 but that was not the case on Monday night.

Washington Capitals win first Stanley Cup in franchise history
Washington goalie Braden Holtby has a 2.13 goals-against average and.923 save percentage in the playoffs, with two shutouts. Over the next 18 seasons, the Capitals returned to the playoffs 12 times but their string of blows kept coming.

The ugly numbers behind 3-1. "I think everybody saw it".

"We're in a familiar situation with a lot of doubters". Washington dominated the opening frame with TJ Oshie (PP), Tom Wilson and Devante Smith-Pelly all scoring for a 3-0 lead heading to the second.

They posed near St. Basil's Cathedral and even took the silver prize to be photographed in front of the mausoleum of Vladimir Lenin.

The Capitals made no such mistake when their first big chance presented itself on the power-play with Oshie burying a rebound of an Evgeny Kuznetsov shot past Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury almost 10 minutes into the opening period.

"He made a couple mistakes, ended up in the back of our net", Gallant said. "We hit two posts, we had some good chances and we got nothing out of it".

Added Trotz: "As a coach, you want your top player to set the tone, and he did with his intensity, his physicality, all the details".

"I've never been there", Kuznetsov said. Or they've stumbled upon a cooler and are about to go bust.

The Golden Knights had the edge in shots (30-23) and scoring chances (31-21) in this game but Braden Holtby was a major factor in Vegas ending up on the wrong side of the scoreboard.

Vegas' road record in the playoffs fell to 6-4.

Since the Stanley Cup's Moscow debut that summer at Red Square, NHL teams have drafted more than 200 Russian players.

Nationwide, its 3.94 overnight household rating dwarfed Game 1's mark of 3.72, which was the best viewership for the start of the Stanley Cup finals since 2015.

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