Capitals at Golden Knights Game 2 Preview
Those looking to break the bank in Sin City have often tried to disprove the theory that “The House always wins,” often times leaving with a bruised ego and a lighter wallet. The Vegas Golden Knights, who have posted better odds at home than most tables in the casino, aim to continue their good fortune at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Washington Capitals.
Tomas Nosek scored the go-ahead goal midway into the third period and added insurance into the empty net in Monday’s 6-4 triumph for Vegas, which has outscored the opposition 31-16 en route to posting a 7-1 mark at home in the playoffs. The 25-year-old Nosek, who has eight regular-season goals in 84 career contests, owns four points (three goals, one assist) in his last three games while fellow fourth-liner Ryan Reaves has tallied in back-to-back contests for the first time since April 6 and 8, 2017. “We didn’t play our best game,” Capitals superstar captain Alex Ovechkin told reporters after his club’s first contest since a Game 7 win over Tampa Bay on Wednesday. “I think next game is going to be different and all the nervousness, all the bad things (go) away (from) this game. We just have to forget about it and bounce back.” Countryman Evgeny Kuznetsov notched an assist in the topsy-turvy series opener to extend his franchise-record postseason point streak to 11 games, during which the 26-year-old Russian has scored six goals and set up 10 others.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, CBC, Sportsnet, TVA
ABOUT THE CAPITALS: Habitual line-stepper Tom Wilson’s blindsided hit on Jonathan Marchessault did not result in a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Tuesday, with the league citing that it was shoulder to shoulder rather than to the head and that it was in the flow of the game. The 24-year-old Wilson, who received a three-game suspension in the Eastern Conference semifinal series against Pittsburgh, said he has no plans to change his playing style. “You always have your reputation,” Wilson told reporters. “When you play my physical style, you’re going to have that reputation. I trust myself. I play the game hard. It’s my job to bring that energy, that physicality. Right after he got up, he said ‘good hit.'”
ABOUT THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS: Reilly Smith continued his stellar postseason by scorin
g a goal and setting up another in the series opener, giving him 18 points (three goals, 15 assists) in 16 outings. Fellow forward Marchessault has done him one better with 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists), snapping a tie with New York Islanders’ Jude Drouin (1975) and San Jose Sharks’ Igor Larionov (1994) for the most with a franchise in its first-ever postseason. Marchessault, who set up Smith’s second-period goal, has flustered the Capitals with four assists in three encounters this season.
1. Washington’s John Carlson scored his 17th career playoff goal in the opener to move past Kevin Hatcher for the most by a defenseman in franchise history.
2. Vegas’ lone postseason home loss came in double overtime on April 28, a 4-3 decision against the Sharks in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals.
3. Capitals RW T.J. Oshie set up a pair of goals in the series opener to push his point total to 13 (four goals, nine assists) in the past 12 games.