After 10 goals and a Final-record four lead changes overall in a fantastically entertaining opener, it's tough to imagine what these unlikely opponents will do for an encore.
But Vegas regained the lead with a pair of goals by its fourth line, the first by Reaves when Kempny failed to clear the puck by the right side of the net, and the second by Nosek, who one-timed a crossing pass from defenseman Shea Theodore into the right corner of the net.
"We kept battling back", Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant said. "Guys have are having fun and they're smiling".
After making 53 combined saves in consecutive shutouts of Tampa Bay in the Capitals' last two games, Holtby gave up five goals, including four at even strength. With a win, they would become the first expansion team in any of the four major US sports leagues - the MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL - to win a title in their first season. They don't deserve a cup. "We've got to be better". We need to be faster in the defensive zone. We're going to stand up for our players.
The Game 1 victor has won the last six Cups and 61 of 78 overall.
Impressively, ESPN the Magazine senior editor Aimee Crawford and "SportsCenter" anchor Steve Levy picked the Capitals to defeat the Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup finals at the start of the playoffs. I trust myself. I try and play, I play the game hard. "I thought we were going on the power play there", Trotz said. "We just have to forget about it and bounce back (in the) next one".
Colin Miller, William Karlsson and Reilly Smith scored early goals before Nosek added an empty-netter for the Knights, who are three wins away from one of the most improbable championships in recent North American team sports history.
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The party just off the famed strip where there's a casino or a street performer at almost every turn started with a concert by rapper Lil Jon and continued with on-ice player introductions from famed ring announcer Michael Buffer.
Game 2 is in Vegas on Wednesday.
And then the Knights and Caps put on a high-energy production of their own with plenty of fireworks and drama.
Instead of a power play, the Capitals were forced to live with the on-ice decision of the goal. Carlson fell to the ice, which opened up the necessary space for Reaves to roof the shot past Braden Holtby.
The Golden Knights, who relied on a roster mostly composed of National Hockey League castoffs selected in an expansion draft before the season, amassed a 51-24-7 record during the regular season. "That's just something that you go back, watch the video, see where there's defaults at times to get the puck back in our team's hands". For me it's a late hit.
"It's just unforgiveable", Milbury said.
"I think the league is going to take care of it", Marchessault said. That goal was his 13th overall point of this postseason, 12 of which have come at even strength.