Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals had less offence than Game 1, but it saw the Washington Capitals win their first Stanley Cup Final game in franchise history behind an amazing performance from their goaltender.
Here’s how it went down:
Washington 3-2 Vegas
Series tied 1-1
— NHL (@NHL) May 31, 2018
After a Game 1 where both teams went back and forth trading goals for a total of 10 against two elite goaltenders, Game 2 was hard to predict. Would we get more offence, or would Marc-Andre Fleury and Braden Holtby bounce back and make it a nail biter?
That held true up to eight minutes into the first period when Vegas buried their 8th shot attempt for a 1-0 lead. Luca Sbisa flipped a floater into the Caps zone from the neutral zone and James Neal snapped a shot over the shoulder of Holtby for his fifth of the playoffs.
Washington would tie the game with two and a half minutes left in the first. On a 4-on-4 face-off to the left of Holtby, Andre Burakovsky made a cross-ice pass while falling, to Michal Kempny who held onto the puck just long enough before feeding it to Lars Eller who put it in the open net to tie it at one.
Alexander Ovechkin scored his first of the finals in the second period for the 2-1 Caps lead. Just over five minutes into the middle frame Washington took advantage of the powerplay and through a series of passes capitalized with a goal after Lars Eller found The Captain open to the right of Fleury who sent it home.
— NHL (@NHL) May 31, 2018
It only took four minutes for Washington to add to their lead. Vegas got caught on a defensive pinch sending the Caps out on a break where Lars Eller made a third contribution to a goal, making a nice pass behind his body to Brooks Orpik who threw it on net. The puck bounced off some bodies and the post and in for the 3-1 lead.
Vegas would score on a powerplay of their own to cut the lead to 3-2. Shea Theodore would wrist a shot from the blue-line which made its way through a screened Holtby for his third of the postseason.
That’s where the hopes ended for Vegas and the scoring stopped. Braden Holtby won the game for his team in the third period stopping 15 shots in the final frame, and all but two of the 39 shots he faced all night. The Golden Knights had two or three major scoring chances in the last few minutes but Holtby did what he needed to, sealing the deal and tying the series at one.
Evgeny Kuznetsov left the game in the first period after taking a hit from Brayden McNabb and favouring his left wrist. The Caps will surely be awaiting any prognosis they can get before Game 3.
Game 3 will take place Saturday at 6 p.m. MT from Capital One Arena.