The Washington Capitals defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1 in game three of the NHL Stanley Cup Final.
The Capitals received a psychological boost immediately when high-scoring center Evgeny Kuznetsov took the ice on Saturday after being a game-time decision due to injury.
That gave the Capitals all the offense they needed as Kuznetsov tallied an assist and a goal in the second period to see Washington claim a 2-1 series lead.
It was the Capitals' first home-ice Stanley Cup Final victory in the franchise's 44-year history.
The Capitals will host game four in Washington on Monday.
KUZNETSOV SHRUGGED OFF INJURY AND RETURNED IN TOP FORM
Kuznetsov was a game-time decision as he dealt with an upper-body injury that forced him out of game two. Yes, the Capitals are deep and could shuffle their lines to cover his absence for a game, but they are unquestionably a better team with him on the ice. Kuznetsov made his presence felt in the second period with an assist to Alexander Ovechkin for the Capitals' first goal, and he added a goal of his own midway through the period.
The 2016 All-Star has been the top scorer in the NHL postseason, and now has 12 goals and 27 points.
Kuznetsov and Ovechkin (14 postseason goals) are the fourth set of team-mates to score at least 12 goals apiece in the last 20 playoffs.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS' OFFENSE?
Vegas tallied 28 shots on goal in the opener and 26 in Game two, but only 22 shots in game three. Many of those were not quality shots this team are used to finding. After scoring six goals in the opener, the Golden Knights have combined for three goals in the last two games. That is a trend Vegas must reverse. The Golden Knights finished fifth in the NHL in scoring in the regular season, but appeared overmatched by the Caps' defense during the past two contests.
FLEURY IS GREAT, BUT HE NEEDS HELP
After all his great years with the Pittsburgh Penguins, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury might have had his best season with Vegas. Although he unexpectedly yielded seven combined goals in the first two games of the Finals, he was back in top form early in the game on Saturday, making a number of spectacular plays among his 23 saves.
But Fleury needs help. The Capitals seemed to be camped out in the Golden Knights' end of the ice most of the night. That led to several shots no goalie should be expected to stop. Case in point: Kuznetsov's second-period goal on a three-on-one breakaway. Vegas must do more to keep the puck at the other end of the ice and give Fleury a chance to breathe.
25. September 2018
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|Benitez charged by FA for referee comment relating to Zaha treatment|
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|Mourinho questions his players amid reports Pogba won´t captain United again|
|European Ryder Cup diary: Fleetwood´s hair delights Poulter|
|USA Ryder Cup diary: Tiger´s roaring reception, McEnroe´s bold prediction|
|Loans to be limited under new FIFA proposal|
|Prolific Nadolo signs new Montpellier contract|
|Modric? For us, Messi is the best – Valverde|
|Murray makes winning start in Shenzhen|
|Mickelson would cherish first victory on European soil|
|Hodge hoping pressure proves too much for South Africa|
|Woodward in show of support for under-fire Mourinho|
|Mickelson jokes he wants ´a shot a side´ from Tiger in Thanksgiving showdown|
|Reed: Captain America is a villain in Europe|
|Duminy to captain Proteas as Elgar replaces injured Amla|
|No Tottenham timeline for Lloris, Vorm returns|
|Woods ready for ´awesome environment´ on Ryder Cup opening hole|
|Tony Bellew determined to prove doubters wrong against Oleksandr Usyk|
|Tuchel explains why he likes Neymar at number 10|
|Manchester United smash revenue record but profits down|
|Furyk downplays Ryder Cup pairings talk, says Tuesday is about individuals|
|Rejuvenated Tiger out to improve poor Ryder Cup record|
|Saunders fined £100,000 for ´sickening´ online video|
|Hazard can reach his full potential with Sarri´s Chelsea - Zola|
|Ryder Cup heading back in Europe´s direction, says Niall Horan|
|Wow! Klopp hails Sarri´s Chelsea transformation|
|Giovinazzi to partner Raikkonen at Sauber in 2019|
|Bjorn backs ´phenomenal´ Rahm to continue trend of Spanish success|
|Durant in no rush to decide Warriors future|
|Rossi to face anti-doping hearing|
|Mignolet to return for Liverpool against Chelsea|
|Premier League ´interesting´ for Germany boss Low|
|Wilder wins Twitter vote to be Joshua´s next opponent|
|BREAKING NEWS: Isco an El Derbi doubt due to appendicitis|
|Juventus won´t rest Ronaldo ahead of Napoli clash|
|Slater cleared to play in NRL Grand Final|
|Top seed Begu sent packing in Tashkent|
|This isn´t my last hurrah in Ryder Cup, insists Poulter|
|Barba back in NRL with North Queensland Cowboys|
|Arsenal wait on Mkhitaryan and Sokratis|
|All Blacks wary of Pumas pack ahead of Buenos Aires Test|
|Ryder Cup has special place in Pep Guardiola´s heart, says Fleetwood|
|Mbappe ready to take over from Messi and Ronaldo, says Trezeguet|
|Molinari: Ryder Cup pressure far outweighs any major|
|Koepka heads PGA Tour´s Player of the Year nominations|
|Lampard: Mourinho still a great manager|
|United States and Europe reveal Ryder Cup practice groupings|
|Bulldogs´ fine for ´Mad Monday´ antics halved|
|Bennett to leave Broncos after 2019 NRL campaign|
|American League postseason picture becomes clear|
|Steelers edge Buccaneers for first win|
|Gatland wants Webb available for World Cup|
|Modric: Ronaldo, Messi out of this world but my season deserved recognition|
|Love says Cavs ´will surprise a lot of people´|
|George believes Thunder can compete for championship this season|
|Messi is the greatest ever – Eto´o|
|Messi to miss Argentina´s upcoming friendlies|
|Dolphins say Hayes tore ACL attempting to avoid roughing-the-passer penalty|
|Modric deserved FIFA Best award – Ramos|
|Thibodeau open to potential Butler trade|
|Modric wanted Ronaldo, Messi at awards ceremony|
|Brewers´ Yelich active after elbow hit|
|Anthony on coming off Rockets´ bench: Whatever I have to do to help this team win|
|Raiders coach Gruden says Mack trade was hard on players|
|Bale lauds ´unbelievable´ Modric after FIFA Best triumph|
|Ronaldo, Messi lacked respect with FIFA Best awards snub - Capello|
24. September 2018
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