The Caps' first trip to Vegas did not go the way they planned. Washington trailed 3-0 after the first period and that score would stand through the rest of the game. Here's how the Caps lost their first game against the Golden Knights.
The first period
This game was decided in the opening 20 minutes as Vegas jumped all over Washington to take a 3-0 lead. Just moments after Braden Holtby stopped an early breakaway from Brendan Leipsic, Christian Djoos took the puck off a defensive-zone draw and tried a pass right up the middle. Alex Tuch got a stick in front of it to generate a turnover and a mini-break for the Golden Knights which led to Tuch tucking in a rebound to give Vegas an early 1-0 lead. Oscar Lindberg finished off a four-on-two break just five minutes later. The backbreaker came when William Karlsson scored what was virtually an empty-netter as Reilly Smith hit him with the nice pass on the back door.
With no superstars on their team, the Golden Knights know every line has to give 100-percent effort every time they are on the ice in order to be successful. In no aspect of Vegas’ game was that mentality more evident than on the forecheck. They were relentless and the Caps really struggled against it, especially early on. They eventually adjusted to it somewhat, but the forecheck gave them fits all night.
The Caps’ power play
If Washington had any chance to get back into this game, it came in the second period when Vegas took two penalties in the first five minutes. But a scuffling power play continued to struggle as the Caps failed to score on either chance. One goal there would have put them back in the game. Instead, they failed to score and went back to the locker room down by three with only 20 minutes remaining. Washington finished the night with no power play goals on four opportunities. The Caps now have only one power play goal in its last eight games.
Marc-Andre Fleuy’s third period
Fleury was not tested much in the first 40 minutes of the game. Washington's best opportunities came in the third period when they fired 10 shots on goal on the former Penguins' netminder. Fleury looked like his old Pittsburgh self as he made a number of key saves to snuff out any possibility of a late-game comeback.