This improbable Stanley Cup Final match up reaches a pivotal game 3 in what should be another thrilling contest.
Cap’s goaltender Brayden Holtby is coming off a monster game 2 where he had a game saving stop which some have named simply “The Save.”
At this point in the contest you know both teams each have their own phenom in between the posts. Both are among the league’s very best and both are red hot right now- otherwise their teams would not be in the position they’re in.
Game 2 picked up the intensity physically, as the feeling out process has faded. Washington out hit the Golden Knights 46-39. This slowed down the young speedsters from Sin City.
Tonight’s game though, Vegas will be prepared for the Cap’s physicality.
They should know that D.C will be preparing to try and bring an even more intense atmosphere than the newcomers from Vegas did. There won’t be any fancy shows pre-game, but everyone knows that stadium will be rocking for their first Stanley Cup Final game since 1998.
Cap’s veteran captain Alexander Ovechkin wasn’t in the league yet.
Ovechkin, one of the greatest scorers to ever play the game, has been plagued with playoff heartbreak.
This is the deepest he’s ever made it into the playoffs and you can see the desperation in his eyes.
In years past, Ovechkin usually broke down at this point. His level would slump. He’d look fatigued. This year, he just looks like a starving wolf- just 3 wins away from finally satisfying his hunger for a Stanley Cup.
But perhaps the most important storyline of this game, is the status of the Cap’s assist leader Evgeny Kuznetsov.
Kuznetsov suffered an upper-body injury in game 2 and did not return. He’s been reported as day-to-day.
Kuznetsov led the team with 56 assists in the regular season- a whopping 23 coming on the powerplay. Many of which, fell to captain Alex Ovechkin.
It’s hard to say how the lines will get shuffled around and how this will impact Ovi, should Kuznetsov not play.
On the other side, a healthy and annoyed Vegas side is looking to make up for missed opportunities in game 2. They know they could easily be up 2-0 in this series- had they finished their chances, especially late in the 3rd.
73 shots tallied in the first 2 games, the Golden Knights will make Holtby have to stand on his head again tonight to keep them out of the net.
Washington comes with physicality and grit. Vegas comes with youth and skill.
Prediction: Golden Knights win 4-2
Vegas @ Washington 8 PM EST on NBCSN
Author: Dino Bizzarro
Dino Bizzarro is co-founder and editor-in-chief of YourWorld Media. He has previously worked in both television and radio. In Sarasota, Florida he starred in Game On Profiles, reporting on the top local high school athletes. During his internship with the National Journalism Center in 2017, he worked at Radio America where he co-produced the television show Behind the Curtain with host Jack Burkman. Within the last 2 years, he’s worked at WUFT in Gainesville, reporting and anchoring the local news. He is originally from Las Vegas and a rising senior at the University of Florida where he majors in telecommunications.