Vegas Golden Knights @ Washington Capitals
8:00 EDT/5:00 PDT
Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
TV: CBC, SN
Before the start of the series, there was a lot of speculation about whether Alex Ovechkin and Braden Holtby would be able to continue to lead them on through for another 4 wins. It’s safe to say that both have answered the bell, and it’s a big part of why the Caps can send this series back to Vegas for a chance to win their first Stanley Cup on Thursday. But let’s not neglect probably the biggest reason the Caps are ahead in this series right now: the fantastic job that they’ve done defensively in shutting down a team in a way that no other NHL team has been able to do.
The high-octane Vegas offence, which can get going seemingly from anyone they can throw out onto the ice has struggled the last couple games as Washington has done a masterful job of keeping them on the perimeter, swallowing up shots and taking away clear looks at the net that result in misses for the Golden Knights. Japers Rink, our SBN pals who cover the Caps, have a great breakdown on the way the Caps are shutting down Vegas if you want to take a deeper dive. Also worth checking out is their piece on how Ovi is re-writing the narrative that so many have pushed for so long.
As far as the Knights go, one thing they need to see if they hope to be successful tonight is Shea Theodore not dwelling on how he stunk up the joint on Saturday night. It seemed like everytime he got involved in the play, the Capitals got a scoring opportunity out of it. Gerard Gallant has to make sure that Theodore knows how to put this all in the rear view mirror and focus on knotting this series up as they head home.
They’re also going to need the rest of their forward group to step up and find a way to generate more opportunities than they got in Game 3. Getting Marc-Andre Fleury to steal them a game wouldn’t hurt.