Las Vegas is a city all about entertainment and Game 1 certainly delivered on Monday night.
The Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights opened the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final with a wild, back-and-forth contest that saw the Caps fall 6-4.
Here's why the Caps fell in the first game of the series.
4 Reasons Why the Capitals lost Game 1 to the Golden Knights
1. Burakovsky’s penalty
Andre Burakovsky took an unnecessary penalty early in the first when he boarded Cody Eakin in the offensive zone. The play not only ended what was the Caps’ best offensive shift of the game to that point, it also gave Vegas a power play.
The Golden Knights took advantage as Colin Miller fired a slap shot past Braden Holtby for the first goal of the series.
2. Vegas’ quick responses
The Caps had the lead twice in this game and both times it was short-lived.
Despite giving up the first goal, Washington battled back to take the lead in the first period with two goals in a 42-second span. Williams Karlsson scored just 2:56 later, however, to tie the game back at two.
The Caps had a great start to the third period taking a 4-3 lead just 70 seconds in thanks to a Tom Wilson goal. Again, Vegas responded with a game-tying goal 91 seconds later from Ryan Reaves.
Vegas was never deterred after giving up the lead and did not allow Washington to build any momentum or take control of the game.
3. An uncalled cross-check
Speaking of Reaves’ goal, it never should have counted. Reaves scored right from the top of the crease as he managed to find a little window with which to shoot.
How did he get open? By blatantly cross-checking John Carlson to the ice right before he got the puck.
We know how referees put away the whistles in the playoffs, but on a blatant penalty that creates a goal that’s a call you have to make.
4. Vegas’ fourth line
The Golden Knights matched their fourth line primarily against Washington’s fourth line and it was not a favorable matchup for the Caps. At all.
Vegas dominated play when their fourth line of Tomas Nosek, Pierre-Edourd Bellemare and Reaves was on the ice and that resulted in three critical third-period goals. Reaves scored the game-tying goal in the third period and Tomas Nosek scored the game-winner and added an empty-netter to put the exclamation point on the win.
MORE CAPITALS PLAYOFF NEWS:
- 3 Stars: Vegas' fourth line rolls
- Only in Vegas: Best Game 1 photos
- Rocking the Red: Caps fans swarm Capital One Arena
- Medieval Times: Vegas puts on a show
CAPITALS EXTRA PODCAST: GAME 1 IN VEGAS