Vegas, who are aiming to become the first team in major United States sport history to win the title in their first season in existence, have now lost three successive games. "I think as you get older too if you don't change certain things like the way you train or the way you play, you're going to get pushed out, so you have to be able to adapt". Washington saw Vegas score twice in the third before Michal Kempny and Brett Connolly restored their four goal lead. "To see him get rewarded with a goal at a big time, it makes me feel good". But Capitals goalie Brayden Holtby made the save of his lifetime with the paddle of his stick and Washington won 3-2. He finished with 28 saves. Vegas now has no answers for this duo as both were able to create multiple chances throughout the entirety of game three. Fleury came into the final as the Conn Smythe front-runner for playoff MVP honors but looked human again by allowing six goals on 23 shots at a defense that has often left him vulnerable.
Nate Schmidt admitted that indeed, the Golden Knights are playing a tighter box against the Capitals, "It's an acknowledgement to probably the best power play in the league the last four years, how good they've been". Ovechkin's goal came after a relentless attack on Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, and Kuznetsov gave Washington a 2-0 lead with a whistling shot to the far post.
The game's final minutes were chippy with several post-whistle scrums. Langley's Shea Theodore has recorded a power-play goal and an assist during the series for Vegas.
"They're really good at slowing you down", Lightning forward J.T. Miller said during the Eastern Conference final.
Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals will get their first chance to hoist the Cup in Game 5 on Thursday night in Las Vegas.
Coming from a city where hot and cold streaks can spell fortune or disaster, the Vegas Golden Knights learned a hard lesson in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final - sometimes hockey isn't fair. Now, the expansion darlings are in danger of falling short of their ultimate goal unless they can put together three consecutive victories. Coach Gerard Gallant says he hopes Tatar adds some offense and speed to a group that lacked both in a Game 3 loss Saturday.
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If a Fall Out Boy concert was not enough fun then remember the meaning of this game a game to decide if this series turns into a best of 3 or a very scary 3-1 Washington lead.
Barring a comeback of historic proportions - an unlikely occurrence after being outscored 12-5 over the past three games - the Golden Knights will always remember this series for "The Stick" and "The Post".
"Just gotta know in the back of our heads it's still there", said Vegas defenceman Luca Sbisa. "It's just a scramble play where they outcompeted us on that one". And with 20.5 seconds remaining in the period, Smith-Pelly effectively put the game out of reach. The Capitals defeated the Golden Knights 6-2. "But we've got a good group of leaders in the room ... and we'll be focused at the start".
Gallant said he never considered pulling Fleury.
Washington's most important players are producing, while the Golden Knights' top line of Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson and Reilly Smith hasn't found the net with regularity in this series.
It's been a suddenly frustrating run for the Golden Knights, who scored only three goals in the two games here and have given up 16 goals in the series.