(Photo by ESPN)
Las Vegas–Tonight the Stanley Cup Final series between the Vegas Golden Knights and Washington resumed for game 5 back in Sin City in front of 18,529 at T-Mobile Arena.
After the taking the opening game of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Golden Knights entered into tonight’s contest with their backs against the wall as the Capitals had a 3-1 series lead.
In the NHL’s 100 year of existence, teams with a 3-1 series tied in the Stanley Cup Final were 32-1, so for Vegas this game was daunting for them.
The plan for the Golden Knights from the outset was win and extend the series back to the Nations Capital for a game 6.
From the outset, Vegas played a very good opening period of the game and taking it to the Capitals with the physicality and ended up out hitting them 18-10.
What was also good, Marc-André Fleury made the saves when he needed to for the Golden Knights as he turned away 9 shots.
The Golden Knights were sticking with the game plan until the 6:24 mark of the middle period when the Capitals found themselves on the scoresheet first. It was Jakub Vrana scoring a breakaway goal and beat Fleury far side.
Washington thought they were off and running by taking the lead on the Vrana tally but it was short lived as Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt tied things up for Vegas.
His shot from the point deflected off of Matt Niskanen‘s skate that fooled Braden Holtby via the five hole with 11:20 left in the period.
Schmidt’s goal erupted the crowd of Golden Knights fans inside T-Mobile Arena which was pretty much dominated by a sea of Caps faithful.
At the 10:14 mark of the period the Capitals were on the power play and it was Alexander Ovechkin who put Washington ahead once again. He took a feed pass from Nicklas Backstrom and from his usual office space put it by Fleury that made it 2-1.
That lead was later washed out by the Golden Knights as David Perron recorded his first goal in the Stanley Cup Finals that made it a 2-2 game with 7:04 to go in the 2nd.
Then late in the period, Reilly Smith would add an important goal for the Golden Knights before the 2nd intermission. Things were looking great for Vegas taking a 3-2 lead with them at the break.
As the Golden Knights were holding onto their 3-2 lead in the third period of the game, they kept the Capitals off the board for the most part until it was 9:52 into the frame where Washington scored a key goal by Devante Smith-Pelly.
Fleury played his position a little too aggressive and Smith-Pelly managed to get the puck past his left pad that tied it up at 3-3.
It was with 7:37 remaining in regulation where the Washington Capitals would score the go ahead goal and eventual Stanley Cup Final clincher by Lars Eller. The puck was just sitting behind Fleury and Eller jammed it home for a 4-3 score.
Washington would hold the lead and go on and capture the 2018 Stanley Cup with a 4-3 win over the Golden Knights.
Ovechkin cemented his 13 year NHL legacy with not only capturing the 2018 Stanley Cup but would also win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff Most Valuable Player.
3 Stars Of The Game
Washington Capitals: Lars Eller (Stanley Cup winning goal)
Washington Capitals: Devante Smith-Pelly (Game tying goal in the third period)
Vegas Golden Knights: Reilly Smith (1 goal and 1 assist)
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