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Caps stay hot with win over skidding Montreal

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Caps stay hot with win over skidding Montreal

WASHINGTON – Post-game analysis of the Capitals’ 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens in Washington on Saturday:

How it happened: Evgeny Kuznetsov deflected a Nate Schmidt shot into the net in the first period. Jay Beagle scored what would be the game winner in the second off of a nice drop pass from Tom Wilsonand Jason Chimera added an insurance tally in the third. Kuznetsov's goal was his 11th of the season, tying the career-high mark he set last year in 80 games. This is only Kuznetsov's 34th game of the season.

His best Kuznetsov impression: One of Kuznetsov's more impressive moves is a forehanded drop pass that leaves defensemen and goalies baffled. Wilson did his best impression of the move in the second period to set-up Beagle's goal. As he skated wide to Condon's left, he went forehand and dropped it perfectly for Beagle who finished the play off with the goal a beautiful wrister that beat Condon glove side.

Oscar-worthy performance: P.K. Subban drew the ire of the Caps faithful late in the second period when he drew a slashing penalty on Nicklas Backstrom. As Subban went to collect the puck along the boards, Backstrom came over to challenge and gave him a shove in the back. Subban immediately clutched his face and fell to the ice. Replays show that Backstrom never touched Subban's face. The referee was fooled and called Backstrom for slashing. Fans serenaded Subban with boos the rest of the game. In what have been an acknowledgement of the blown call, Paul Byron of Montreal was called for embellishment in the third period.

Like father, like son: We all knew Wilson was tough, but to beat a man in front of his own family.... In the first period, Tom Wilson dropped the gloves with Montreal's Jarred Tinordi after the two were chirping at one another and Tinordi gave Wilson a shove in the back. If the name Tinordi sounds familiar, that's because his father, Mark Tinordi, was a former Cap for five seasons in the 90s. Mark was in the stands with his family watching his son play. That probably was not what he was hoping to see, though it should not have been totally unexpected given that Jarred has been in 13 fights at the NHL level (including preseason). Mark was in 72 fights over his career.

Look ahead: The Caps will play a home-and-home with the Sabres starting in Buffalo on Mon. Dec. 28. They return to Washington for the rematch on Dec. 30 and then close out the 2015 in Carolina on Dec. 31.

RELATED: LOOK: Fan propositions Tom Wilson with suggestive sign

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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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