Capitals Come Out on the Short End in Vegas

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Posted December 5, 2018

Braden Holtby (Caps Outsider)

When the Capitals met Vegas back in October, they were coming off one of the hardest celebrated Stanley Cup championships in recent memory. They were coming off two games in which they came out 1-1, scoring 13 goals in the process. That adrenaline carried them to a 5-2 victory in front of Caps faithful. On this night they weren’t as fortunate as the Golden Knights came out and they came out hard, winning 5-3.

Just 1:03 into the first period, Brett Connolly drove the net hard but ran over Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury which led to a power play for the Knights. Just 22 seconds into that PP chance, Ryan Reaves put one past Braden Holtby giving the opposition the 1-0 advantage. Although before the end of the period Jakub Vrana finished off a beautiful feed from Brett Connolly to tie the game up at one During that period the face-off battle was swinging heavily in Vegas’ favor, they were 73 percent in the face-off circle compared to the Caps 23 percent. Thats certainly not something the Caps want to see but they would look to bounce back in the second frame. They headed into the locker room winning the shot battle but the hits comparison in that period certainly swung in the Knights’ favor where they led 20-8.

In the second period, the hitting continued and this one certainly wasn’t going to be a “barn burner”.  With 4:18 remaining in the period, Ryan Reaves delivered a monstrous hit on Tom Wilson with knocked Wilson out of the game with an upper body injury after hitting his forehead on the ice following the hit. He would receive a 5 minute major and a game misconduct served by Daniel Carr. Chances were traded back and forth to no avail and this 1-1 tie looked to be how the third period would get underway until a point shot from Madison Bowey redirected off of those extremely lively Vegas boards and right to Alex Ovechkin’s tape. He made no mistake with it and potted it under the cross bar to give the Capitals a 2-1 lead with 8:18 remaining in the second frame. He is now tied for second in goals with Brayden Point in Tampa and Jeff Skinner in Buffalo at 20 markers.

In the third, it was all Vegas as they controlled all the play starting with two goals at 2:33 and 2:49 respectively; just 16 seconds apart to take a 3-2 lead. The momentum had swung yet again and the play by the Capitals was valiant but with only one goal in the third by Vrana( 2nd career two-goal game) and two goals by Nate Schmidt, one into the empty net, would prove to be too much on this night in Sin City.

Shots- VGK – 28   WSH- -26

Final Score: VGK – 5   WSH – 3

The Capitals are off on Wednesday and will skate Thursday at 11:30 am at GilaRiver Arena.

Next game is on Thursday in Arizona, 9:00 pm ET.