June 21, 2018

Ice melting to slush in Las Vegas heat at Stanley Cup Final

02 June 2018, 12:38 | Kristopher Drake

'A magical story': Golden Knights, Capitals to face-off in Game 2

Raiders owner Mark Davis has a real love affair with Las Vegas

If the Washington Capitals outrace the Vegas Golden Knights in their spring sprint to three more wins and drink champagne from the Stanley Cup, they'll make T-shirts and posters and, maybe a decade or two from now, scribble breathless oral histories on The Save. Trotz, coaching with no job security for 2018-19, elected to go with backup Philipp Grubauer for the first two games in Round 1, both home losses to Columbus.

Tuch had a almost open net and a short-range shot, but Holtby swung around and stopped the puck with the blade of his stick.

The sight of Evgeny Kuznetsov clutching his left arm and leaving the ice after a hit from Brayden McNabb isn't as big a threat to the Washington Capitals' title hopes as it might seem.

The series against the Golden Knights, tied 1-1 after the Caps' 3-2 win in Las Vegas, shifts to Washington now. But the violence has been real, with Brooks Orpik unable to speak to reporters after scoring the Game 2 victor because of a crosscheck he received to the mouth late in the third period.

NHL Network is doing extensive on-site coverage of the Stanley Cup Final, with NHL Now, NHL Tonight, and pre- and post-game shows on game nights, featuring a lineup of analysts that includes E.J. Hradek, Mike Johnson, Brian Lawton, Barry Melrose, Mike Rupp, and Kevin Weekes.

This is the Golden Knights' inaugural season and were 500-1 odds to win at the start of the season.

One could argue the stakes were even higher for Holtby's save, seeing as how it took place in the Stanley Cup Final with Washington trying to avoid a 2-0 series deficit.

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The Associated Press contributed to this article.

"Just being in the Stanley Cup finals is absolutely awesome". I think you'd be hard-pressed to find somebody who's rooting for the Capitals no matter how good they are. My reasoning is Vegas has been putting rubber on the net and a few will get by Holtby while Washington will continue to make the most of opportunities...

(The hydrate line actually began as a way for him to talk around a question he doesn't want to answer). "This group has had everything thrown at them and they just say, 'We're going to push on". But the heat didn't fry the spirits of the fans who filled the plaza next to the arena to capacity before the puck dropped, continuing this gambling mecca's fanatical support of its first major pro sports team.

Holtby went into the third period with 22 saves and Fleury had stopped 17 shots through two periods. But he was locked in for Game 2.

"I've got to bury that, though", said Tuch.

"You've got to try and capitalize on those", Vegas defenseman Luca Sbisa said. "I think he embraces the challenge".

In postseason failures of yore, this would have been the moment when it all unraveled for Washington. Shea Theodore feathered a fluttering puck through traffic and past Braden Holtby late in the second period, bringing Vegas within a goal. The Danish forward failed to hit an open net on a rushed play for a potential tying goal late in Game 1. T-Mobile Arena reported 18,702 fans in the sold-out building, setting a franchise record for attendance.

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