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3 stars of the game: Caps can't get OT Win

3 stars of the game: Caps can't get OT Win

The Caps played a much better game on Sunday than the game previous, but the result was the same. Washington fell 2-1 in overtime to the Philadelphia Flyers, their third straight loss since returning from the bye week.

Alex Ovechkin was strong on both ends of the ice, but it was not enough as Brian Elliott dominated in net and Travis Konecny ended the game just 27 seconds into overtime.

Washington now has only two points in three games since their return from the bye and face another lengthy break with the All-Star Game looming.

Here are the three stars from Sunday's game.

1. Alex Ovechkin: It was Ovechkin's defense and not his offense that first stood out on Sunday. A crafty little steal by Ovechkin at the top of the defensive zone sparked a 2-on-1 with him and Evgeny Kuznetsov and should have led to assist No. 500, but Kuznetsov shot the rebound right into goalie Brian Elliott rather than the open net. Ovechkin also had a diving backcheck to cut off a pass from Ivan Provorov on a 2-on-1 for Philadelphia.

Of course, there was the offense too. Ovechkin got Washington on the board in the second period with a blistering shot from the office for the power play goal.

2. Brian Elliott: Call the police because Elliott flat out robbed the Caps. In the first period, he kept Washington off the board with an outstanding save on a wide-open Ovechkin from the slot. He's generally not the guy teams want to leave open that close to the net.

Elliott added another dynamic save on Nicklas Backstrom late in the second when the Caps' center managed to get his stick on the puck in the slot.

3. Travis Konecny: It took Konecny just 27 seconds to win this game in overtime for the Flyers, despite all the momentum building on Washington's side at the end of the game. He carried the puck into the offensive zone, curled into the high slot and wristed a nice shot past Braden Holtby.

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Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

In what is perhaps the most unexpected Stanley Cup Final pairing in recent memory, the Washington Capitals and the Las Vegas Golden Knights are going to make history this year.

Either it is going to be the first expansion team to win a title in their first season, or it will be a team looking to end a 27-year title drought for one of the biggest cities in the United States.

But what it will not be is the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup.

Going even farther back than the Capitals last Stanley Cup appearance (1998), the Georgetown Hoyas and UNLV Rebels met in the 1991 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Sin City took the first, and up until now, the only postseason bout between these two cities. The Larry Johnson-led University of Las Vegas squad powered right past the Hoyas in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

[D.C. sports and Second Rounds, I know right?]

Coming fresh off the NCAA title in 1990, UNLV waltzed right to the Final Four before meeting their demise against Duke. It also ended up being the last game for Dikembe Mutombo in a Georgetown uniform.

While in all likely-hood this will not be the final game/ series for Alex Ovechkin rocking the red, it may be his last and only chance for him to play this far into a postseason.

In the past two seasons, Vegas has gone from zero professional teams to having a Stanley Cup contender, a WNBA franchise, and lined up to take over the Oakland Raiders in 2020. 

Now time for the Golden Knights' Cinderella story to come up a little bit short. 

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Capitals listed as underdogs in their first Stanley Cup since 1998

Capitals listed as underdogs in their first Stanley Cup since 1998

The odds have never gone the way of the Washington Capitals.

After years of being the common pick to finally break through and win the Stanley Cup, this was most definitely not the year.

Yet, here we are with the Capitals as one of the final two teams standing.

For their upcoming Stanley Cup Final, the Caps are the underdogs against the Las Vegas Golden Knights.  The opening line from OddsShark has the Golden Knights as -135 money line favorites to win the Stanley Cup. The Capitals were listed as +115 underdogs.

Vegas (the betting entity, not the team) has not exactly been the most reliable this year though. After all, the Golden Knights were 100/1 odds to win the whole thing. Now they are four games away.

In their past two series, Washington was not the favorites. The Capitals have not been favorites since the First Round against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

For years in the Alex Ovechkin era, they have been the favorites to not only go on to play for the Stanley Cup but winning it.

In 2018 they started the season tied for the fifth best odds to win the Cup (14/1), one of their lowest opening marks in the past decade. For the full perspective, Washington was tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs and behind the Dallas Stars at the start of the season.

Without question this underdog role has fit them quite well, they shouldn’t want anything to change heading into the biggest postseason series in 20 years for Washington D.C.

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