It looks as though head Barry Trotz is going to rely on a veteran lineup tonight when the Capitals face the New York Islanders in a seventh and deciding game at Verizon Center [6:30 p.m. pregame, CSN].
Judging from the line combinations used at Monday’s morning skate at Kettler, veteran left wing Curtis Glencross will return to the lineup and rookie Michael Latta will come out tonight against the Islanders.
Glencross, a healthy scratch in each of the past three games, practiced on a fourth line with center Brooks Laich and right wing Tom Wilson. Acquired from the Calgary Flames for a second- and third-round pick in the 2015 NHL draft, Glencross has no goals in three games with a minus-3 rating.
“When I get called upon I’ve got to be ready to go,” Glencross said after being pulled from the lineup after a 2-1 overtime loss in Game 3.
“We had one tough shift in our own end in Game 3. We got hemmed in there for a little bit and [Trotz] talked to us.”
In explaining Glencross’ benching, Trotz said he can’t wait for his players to be ready to make a difference in the playoffs and will go with whomever he thinks can help win a game that night.
Alex Ovechin – Nicklas Backstrom – Joel Ward
Marcus Johansson – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Jason Chimera
Andre Burakovsky – Jay Beagle – Troy Brouwer
Curtis Glencross – Brooks Laich – Tom Wilson
RELATED: [Caps need to start strong in Game 7]
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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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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