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Holtby, Capitals deliver resilient Game 2 performance

02 June 2018

Evgeny Kuznetsov was on the ice for Washington Capitals practice Friday, 36 hours after leaving Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights clutching his left arm in pain.

Instead, 8 million viewers watched some part of Game 1 between Vegas and Washington in Canada, which represented a 4% increase from last year's Game 1 between Pittsburgh and Nashville.

Holtby capped his energetic performance with a jaw-dropping stick save with 1:59 to play, stretching back to rob Alex Tuch of a possible tying goal.

Game One was everything you'd want from the NHL's premier series: Speed, skill, goals, a breakneck pace and despite the score being 3-3 after two, the goaltenders were actually playing well. Brooks Orpik, who hadn't scored a goal in since February 20, 2016 (220 games including the regular season and playoffs), scored what proved to be the game-winning goal.

A franchise that didn't exist a year ago was four wins (now three) from the Stanley Cup and a team that hasn't sniffed the Stanley Cup Final since America Online was the dominant internet service provider finally found their way back.

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The Golden Knights, too, immediately knew what the Save meant: the series would be even as it moved east to Washington.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Spotting Ovechkin unmarked off the far post, Eller sent a brilliant pass to the Russian, who made no mistake with a first-time shot past Marc-Andre Fleury to notch his first ever Stanley Cup Finals goal.

"You're thinking there's no way that bounces to them across the crease and then comes back across", Beagle said. "They evened it up from the last game". "He was probably the difference in the hockey game". But the heat didn't fry the spirits of the fans who filled the plaza next to T-Mobile Arena to capacity before the puck dropped, continuing this gambling mecca's fanatical support of its first major pro sports team.

"It galvanized us as a group, I think it might be a turning point for us", Trotz said. (They said), 'Let me go make a $50 bet and then go to the hockey game.' After like 20 games, they said, 'Here's a great date night.

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"You've got to try and capitalize on those", Vegas defenseman Luca Sbisa said. Already in these playoffs they lost the first two games against Columbus and the opener against Pittsburgh, and staved off elimination twice against Tampa Bay in the conference finals.

The Vegas Golden Knights opened with a 6-4 win over the Washington Capitals, co-starring teams that combined for a Final-record four lead changes. "Whatever. He takes a beating on that, but I don't think anybody in here gives a crap".

In postseason failures of yore, this would have been the moment when it all unraveled for Washington.

"Five-on-three, you've got to count on a goal there", Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant told reporters postgame.

But the relentless Knights earned a power play and cut the Caps' lead to 3-2 late in the second when Theodore slipped a long shot through heavy traffic.

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Holtby, Capitals deliver resilient Game 2 performance