Sunday, 24 June, 2018

Golden Knights outlast Caps 6-4 in Final opener

Golden Knights' trusted 4th line ride to rescue in wild Game 1 Golden Knights outlast Caps 6-4 in Final opener
Sergio Cook | 29 May, 2018, 14:12

Most of the Capitals' early shot attempts flew wide of the net, and Marc-Andre Fleury only had to make two saves in the first 15 minutes.

They played so well that cameras caught Reaves singing along perfectly to Cab Calloway's Minnie the Moocher while sitting on the bench late in the game.

Nosek scored twice, including the game-winner at the 9:44 mark and empty-net goal to seal it with 2.67 seconds remaining while Reaves tied it 4-4, scoring for the second straight game.

Vegas will host Game 2 on Wednesday night. Even the winning coach, Gerard Gallant, said it was a game that both he and counterpart Barry Trotz would not be happy watching again.

The Vegas Golden Knights will face the Washington Capitals in this year's Stanley Cup Finals as they seek a title in their inaugural season as an expansion team. Bellemare and Nosek are important penalty killers.

As happens sometimes in games with high stakes, the refs put away their whistles for a while, leading to an anything goes series of plays through the second and third period.

Golden Knights' trusted 4th line ride to rescue in wild Game 1
Golden Knights outlast Caps 6-4 in Final opener

The Golden Knights, who relied on a roster mostly composed of National Hockey League castoffs selected in an expansion draft before the season, amassed a 51-24-7 record during the regular season. "All they do is keep things simple and work hard".

Nosek's first goal also came as Devante Smith-Pelly failed to clear the zone and Shea Theodore kept the puck in Capitals territory, eluded one would-be defender, than made a ideal cross-ice pass to Nosek, who one-timed it past Holtby. "The atmosphere is just a Vegas atmosphere".

The opener did have some controversy.

Then Capitals' agitator Tom Wilson crushed Jonathan Marchessault with a late, blindside hit in the neutral zone well after Marchessault last touched the puck. He added that the Golden Knights have the "best fans and best arena in hockey, hands down-it's always insane here".

Now that we know the two teams that will compete for the Stanley Cup, the conversation regarding who should be the Conn Smythe Trophy victor can truly begin. But the teams played 4 on 4 for the next two minutes, with Wilson getting whistled for interference, while David Perron went off for cross checking in the ensuing scuffle. The hit is not expected to warrant supplemental discipline, since Marchessault head was not the main point of contact, but it was predatory nonetheless from a player who has already been suspended three games in these playoffs.

Wilson has been under the microscope during Washington's playoff run, serving a three-game suspension for a devastating hit on Zach Aston-Reese of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round.

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