Thursday, October 22, 2020

Capitals Top Knights, Take 2-1 Series Lead

After losing a wild game 1, the Washington Capitals said they knew the adjustments they needed to make. Now, just 5 days later they have become the first team to defeat the Golden Knights in back-to-back games in the playoffs. A 3-1 win Saturday night giving them a 2-1 series lead.

Washington Capitals Happy To Have Kuznetsov Back

Despite having only a 4-5 record on home ice in this playoffs, the Capitals came out fast in game 3. The inclusion of Evgeny Kuznetsov was a big boost prior to the game, and the Caps laid their plan out early. Attacking with speed, and neat passing going forward and moving the puck quickly cross-ice on the defensive end.

Despite the attacking intent of both teams, it was the first scoreless opening period of the finals. Vegas at times seeming to cross the line between frenetic and frantic. Marc-Andre Fleury was back to his best though, making an insane diving save as the capitals looked to build momentum and an early lead.

It didn’t take long into the second period for the Capitals to take the lead. In an 11 second spell they laid siege to Fleury’s goal, taking 6 shots, one blocked, one wide, and finally hitting the net. Alex Ovechkin diving over bodies to back-hand the puck past the flailing Fleury. It was a lead they would never surrender.

The Knights came more into the game, more discipline descending on them after the goal. But it was the Washington Capitals who would score next. T.J. Oshie creating the turnover in the Caps end and setting them away on a 3-on-1 rush. Kuznetsov firing home the wrist shot from the circle between Fleury’s pad and stick. In truth, it was no more than the Capitals deserved.

The Golden Knights came out with more intensity in the third but they couldn’t seem to muster much offensively. They would finish the night with just 22 shots on goal, their only goal coming as a result of a mistake from Braden Holtby. Holtby opting to clear, rather than go back around the boards from behind the crease. His clearance was blocked by Bellemare and gratefully slotted into the empty net by Tomas Nosek.

Holtby Has  A Stellar Game

It was the only blemish on another great night from Holtby who made 21 saves on the way to his 14th win of these playoffs. Fleury likewise couldn’t have done much more, as his .885 save percentage didn’t reflect the level of his play. Devante Smith-Pelly put home the clinching goal at 7:35 in the third as he was put clean through on Fleury’s goal.

The Golden Knights will look to rebound quickly for game 4. Their shooting was very poor in game 3 as they got a number of very good looks but seemed intent on hitting the corners rather than applying pressure to Holtby. Even after 2 periods of lacklustre shooting they didn’t make the adjustments which was surprising for a team that has seemed so prescient most of the season.

For more like this, visit our dedicated NHL page here. Meanwhile, follow us on Facebook for more opinions and analysis right to your timeline.

Similar Articles

Comments

SIMILAR

Why A ‘European Premier League’ Is A Bad Idea

It has been announced that Liverpool and Manchester United are planning talks to join a ‘European Premier...

Reviewing Week 6 Of The NFL

Week 6 is now complete in the NFL. In a week that saw no Thursday Night Football...

A Review Of Week 5 In The NFL

We have seen five weeks fly by in the NFL. We are over a quarter of the...

British Ice Hockey, what could be done better?

People will say the British ice hockey league is just a stepping stone for import players to...

Everton: They Couldn’t, Could They?

Everton are currently top of the Premier League. After four straight wins, Carlo Ancelotti’s men are sitting...

The First Period

First of all thanks for reading my Column, those that know me would say I'm a hockey...

Bears 1 point win makes massive statement

They've made a habit of starting slow in 2020, but the Bears 1 point win over the...

NFL: Review Of Week 4

Week 4 is complete in the NFL and we are now a quarter of the way through...

“I Thought I Was Going To Die”: My Interview With Paul Brown

Last week i has the chance to speak on Zoom with Paul Brown, who can be found...

Assessing Liverpool’s 7-2 Loss To Aston Villa

Liverpool were stunned on Sunday after their 7-2 loss away to Aston Villa. In a match that...