Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Morning Playoff Notes (Jun 5)

Ahead of Game 4 on Monday night, there was one lineup change for the Golden Knights, as Tomas Tatar was inserted back into the lineup, while David Perron came out once again, this time as a healthy scratch.  Would that be enough for Vegas to come back and tie up this series?

Early on, the Golden Knights had themselves a great big push to try and breakthrough Braden Holtby, dominating the opening half of the 1st period, but failed back-to-back power plays took some of the steam out of their charge and then a failed penalty kill of their own, near the midway point, moved the momentum from their side to the Capitals, thanks to a T.J. Oshie marker.

The Capitals took advantage of two more Vegas turnovers before the end of the 1st period and then made good on a silly penalty taken by Ryan Reaves in the 2nd period and by the end of the middle frame, the Capitals held a 4-0 lead and were ready to coast to victory in the 3rd.

Vegas was able to snap the shutout bid in the 3rd period, as they managed to put a couple past Holtby, bringing it back to a 2-goal game, but the Capitals were not to be undone, adding a couple more before the final buzzer and finishing the game with a 6-2 win.

It was the Evgeny Kuznetsov show again on Monday night, as the Russian picked up 4 assists in the victory, followed closely by Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom, each having 3-point nights as well.  Non-pool forward Devante Smith-Pelly scored the 3-0 goal in the 1st period, which ended up being the winner, stealing the bonus point from the pool.  Holtby made 28 saves for the victory, rounding out the notable players in the pool for Game 4. 

The series now shifts back to Vegas for Game 5, where the Golden Knights will be behind the 8-ball for the first time in these playoffs and they'll fight to stay alive for at least one more game.  Game 5 doesn't go until Thursday night, another extra night of rest or these guys, by the look of things.

Buddy overtook Brenda for the Finals lead in points, while Kevin isn't too far behind.  These three teams all eclipsed the 20-point mark in this final round and they've all gained some ground on Tony's 1st place team, but surely it isn't quite enough to have our leader worry too much.  The Capitals have been an excellent road team in these playoffs and have an excellent chance to finish this series right away.  That would probably be ideal for Tony right about now.

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