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2018 Stanley Cup Finals Open Thread: Game 5 Vegas vs Washington

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It could all end tonight. That, or like many who venture to Vegas, the Caps could go home with empty pockets...

2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Four Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Washington Capitals @ Vegas Golden Knights

8:00 EDT/5:00 PDT

T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV

TV: CBC, SN

We could witness not just the crowning of a first time Stanley Cup Champion tonight, but one that many said would never happen. And we could also see the hockey media sent into a frenzy should they not be able to close the deal, casting doubt upon a team that has utterly dominated this series, that they might lose the next 3 games to a team that by all rights should never have made it this far. Either way, it’s made for one of the most compelling finals in recent memory.

It’s pretty impressive that the Caps went from a team that was considered to have a lame-duck coach heading into the post-season are now one win away from lifting the mug, and they’re going to need to do it in a place where few have had success to date. They are however, one of the teams to walk out of the T-Mobile Arena with a victory, after their 3-2 Game 2 win. And just so you know what they’re up against, the Vegas Golden Knights would become just the 2nd team in NHL history to come back from 3-1 to win the Cup.

The Golden Knights are also shuffling their lineup in the hopes that they can find a way to break through the smothering defence of the Caps. From nhl.com, here’s the projected lineups:

Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie

Andre Burakovsky -- Lars Eller -- Brett Connolly

Chandler Stephenson -- Jay Beagle -- Devante Smith-Pelly

Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen

Michal Kempny -- John Carlson

Brooks Orpik -- Christian Djoos

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Madison Bowey, Travis Boyd, Alex Chiasson, Pheonix Copley, Shane Gersich, Jakub Jerabek, Nathan Walker

Injured: none

Golden Knights projected lineup

Jonathan Marchessault -- William Karlsson -- Reilly Smith

James Neal -- Erik Haula -- Alex Tuch

Tomas Tatar -- Cody Eakin -- David Perron

Tomas Nosek -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- William Carrier

Brayden McNabb -- Nate Schmidt

Shea Theodore -- Deryk Engelland

Luca Sbisa -- Colin Miller

Marc-Andre Fleury

Maxime Lagace

Scratched: Ryan Carpenter, Ryan Reaves, Brad Hunt, Oscar Lindberg, Jon Merrill

Injured: Malcolm Subban (undisclosed)

Two big, notable scratches there in Carpenter and Reaves. Given the amount of attention given to Reaves, it’s a bit surprising that they’ve pulled him in place of William Carrier.

So, enjoy the game tonight. And should they win, make sure and swing by Japers’ Rink and congratulate them. We’ve always had a good relationship with them, and I would be thrilled for those kids to get this.