Jason and Misty were 2 of over 18,000 raucous fans who turned Capitol One Arena into a sea of red.
Both lifetime Capitals fans from southern Maryland, they were confident the home team would get the job done in Game Three
When asked who would contribute most to the victory, Misty confidently predicted “Ovechkin.”
True enough, the captain was dynamite on the ice last night. Throwing himself to block shots, opening up the play with creative passes, and finding a way to get the puck in the back of the net after a relentless effort, Ovechkin struck first in what turned out to be a one-sided contest, despite the close score line.
Perhaps most importantly, Ovechkin looks like he is playing desperate. All of his many emotions are out on his sleeve, and one can feel #8’s presence more than ever when he’s on the ice.
The Golden Knights struggled to maintain an attack and get quality chances. They were held to just 22 shots on goal.
They would have had a lot more were it not for a determined effort to block shots by the Capitals, who shut down 26 shots before they reached Brayden Holtby.
On the other side, the Capitals had 26 shots on goal and the Golden Knights only blocked 9 shots.
It was a repetitive theme of the night for Vegas. Enter the zone—shot gets blocked—and the zone is cleared in a matter of seconds.
Faceoffs were yet another area where the Capitals dominated. Washington won 63% of the draws, allowing them to further dominate possession.
The sea of red in the stands, however, had at least two heart-stopping moments.
One came early in the game when Smith-Pelly bumped into Marc-Andre Fleury, canceling what would have been the opening goal on a shot from the point.
It was clearly the right call—the puck probably would have been saved if not for the interference.
The next surprise came in the third period when Holtby—who had been flawless—gave Vegas a free one.
While collecting the puck from behind the net, he tried an outlet pass instead of wrapping it around the boards.
Bellemare deflected the pass attempt and Nosek was there to put it in and give the Knights hope, cutting the 2-0 lead in half.
The Caps would get a break of their own though to crush all hopes for Vegas.
Shea Theodore failed to clear the puck in his defensive zone, leading to an easy pass from Beagle to Smith-Pelly for the game-sealing third goal.
One factor that can’t be overlooked in this game is Evgeny Kuznetsov’s being on the ice with Ovechkin.
We knew before the game that if Kuznetsov played he would make a big difference.
He did more than that last night.
He was all over the offensive zone, finishing with a goal and an assist.
A game-time decision, Kuznetsov fought through an upper body injury to play in game three, and Caps’ fans sure are happy he did.
Capitals 3 Golden Knights 1
Game 4 will be played on Monday night.
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.