This time it looks different.That is what many have said about the Washington Capitals in this highly successful playoff season in which they are now just one win away from hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup. In any other playoff season the Capitals would wilt like flowers under intense heat.
This time they have thrived on adversity. They have shown a character and courage never displayed by them before. Captain Alex Ovechkin may silence even his most vociferous critics once and for all with a final victory. But the upstart Vegas Golden Knights will be fighting for their lives at home in front of their delirious fans that have fallen hard for them. The last thing Vegas wants as an ending to this highly successful first season is to have their fans see the Cup presented to the opposition at T-Mobile Arena. Yet that is a distinct possibility for Thursday night in game five.
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Washington Capitals vs. Vegas Golden Knights Game 5
Date and Time: Thursday, June 7, 2018, 8 p.m. ET
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
NHL Odds at BetCris: Capitals +1 ½ -235, Golden Knights -1 ½ +195 Over 5 ½ -110, Under 5 ½ -110, Golden Knights -140, Capitals +120
Capitals vs. Golden Knights TV Coverage: NBC
Washington leads the best of seven Stanley Cup Final three games to one and will win the Cup with a victory in game five. Should Vegas win the series would be extended to a game six in Washington on Sunday. If a game seven is necessary it would be back in Sin City next Wednesday night. All games will start at 8 p.m. ET and be televised by NBC.
Extraordinary and “Golden Knights’ No More
Regardless of what happens this has been a sensational inaugural season for the Vegas Golden Knights. Nobody expected a Western Conference championship in year one. But the steamrolling dominance of the first three rounds of the playoffs is gone. After winning the first game 6-4 the Golden Knights have been smothered and shut down by the Capitals. The famed Vegas forecheck and full-frontal assault style of play has been completely curtailed. Their top lines have been unproductive and their defensemen have looked flat footed.
Capital Investment Profits
Washington meanwhile has carried the play while surprising everyone as the deeper team. Vegas was initially touted as having the deeper lineup but that is no longer the case. And top liners Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin are the top two scorers for the Caps. Ovechkin has been particularly impressive with a team high 14 goals along with 12 assists and a plus eight. And “The Great Eight” has inspired all with his determined all out effort.
After three rounds of play Vegas goaltender Marc Andre Fleury had unreal numbers with a save percentage well over .950. Like a stock that reached its peak right before crashing Fleury has seen a sharp drop well below .880 for his save percentage in the Final.
Washington’s Braden Holtby on the other hand has the hot hand with 86 saves on 91 shots the last three games that the Caps have won. He is now at .923 for a save percentage in the Final. Keep in mind he started the post season on the bench. It’s a remarkable turnaround.
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Capitals vs. Golden Knights Free Picks
Washington has done what no other team has done all season. They have broken the spirit of the Golden Knights and seized control of the ice. The Caps have carried the play in dominant fashion the last three meetings. Look for them to close it out on Thursday and win the first ever Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Capitals vs. Golden Knights Pick: Bet the Washington Capitals money line
Capitals vs. Golden Knight Score Prediction: Capitals 3, Golden Knights 1