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Capitals vs. Golden Knights: PHT predicts 2018 Stanley Cup Final

Many never imagined the Golden Knights would have a legitimate chance at winning the Stanley Cup in their inaugural season, but now that they do, it's clear they represent something bigger than hockey.

The 2018 Stanley Cup Final is here and as we await puck drop on Game 1, let’s finish things off with one last round of predictions. Both teams have some great storylines to make the championship DVD pretty memorable, but only one gets to spend their summer partying with the Cup.

Here’s who we think will be victorious between the Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals.

pht_scf predictions

Sean: Golden Knights in 6

No matter who wins this series, there’s going to be a great story to come out of it. But the bigger story will be the unthinkable ending to the Vegas Golden Knights’ inaugural season, which will end with a Stanley Cup title. #CupIn1 they said after some early-season success. It soon blossomed into long-term success and as they’ve carved up the Western Conference en route to the final round, the magical ride will have a happy ending. Marc-Andre Fleury will win the Conn Smythe, no matter how this series ends, and Vegas has found a way to stifle some good offenses in San Jose and Winnipeg. It’s all come together, and they face a formidable, and inspired Washington Capitals team, but timely scoring and Fleury’s goaltending will ultimately be the difference.

James: Capitals in 6

What better way for the Capitals to complete this cathartic and unexpected Year of Exorcism than by defeating a goalie who has tormented them (Marc-Andre Fleury) and the GM who built their foundation (George McPhee)? To complete the picture, it needs to happen on home ice, where the fans can celebrate far beyond the Metro’s hours of operations.

Adam: Capitals in 6

Every round I keep thinking that this is going to be the round where somebody gets Vegas. This is going to be the round. Sometimes you just get a feel for a team that they are going to win a championship, like it is their year, and that is the feeling I get with the Capitals. Alex Ovechkin and Braden Holtby are playing great, everything is going their way, this is the year. I also think that for as great as Marc-Andre Fleury has played he is probably due to have a couple of bad games. Nobody is this perfect for this long, right?

Joey: Capitals in 6

The Golden Knights have been a great story, but it feels like this is the Capitals’ year. Ovechkin has been playing well, Kuznetsov has been rolling, Braden Holtby is rounding in to form and they even won games without Nicklas Backstrom. They’re deeper down the middle and better on defense. There is no Ovechkin or John Carlson on the Vegas roster, so advantage Caps.

Scott: Golden Knights in 6

You take a goaltender who is nearly unbeatable in the playoffs and mesh that with a team who seems to laugh at odds and math and pundits and history and you have yourself a Stanley Cup champion. The Golden Knights knocked off a Jets team that scored in abundance prior to them meeting in the Western Conference Final. Fleury was simply sensational against the team that scored the second most goals in the NHL this season. There’s no indication he can’t do the same against a team that was in the middle of the pack. The stakes are higher than ever, and I don’t think anyone in Vegas cares.

Who has the better forwards?
Who has better defense?
Who has better goaltending?
Who has better special teams?

Who has better coaching?
How Golden Knights were built
How Capitals were built

NBC’s Stanley Cup Playoff Hub
Stanley Cup Final Schedule