Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Capitals Face Pivotal Game 2

May 30, 2018 - 3:06 pm

By Joe Schiller 

After an exciting Game 1, the Washington Capitals find themselves down 1-0 to the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final. Playing behind has been a familiar feeling for Barry Trotz’s team this postseason as they’ve overcome series deficits in every round leading up to this point. From Columbus, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay to now Vegas, the Caps have some catching up to do.

The Knights, however, pose a different challenge. With William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault up front and a three-time Stanley Cup-winning netminder in Marc-Andre Fleury, this team is far from a feel-good story anymore. They’re just that good, making it through an extremely competitive Eastern Conference.

The Caps saw firsthand the damage Vegas can do offensively. They totaled six goals in Game 1 including the empty-netter to end the game. Braden Holtby struggled following two straight shutout performances and defensive breakdowns on the backend cost the Caps leads on two separate occasions.

Because of their regular season record, the Knights hold home-ice advantage throughout the Stanley Cup Final. They have the advantage of four home games if necessary compared to the Caps’ three.

All the pressure falls on the Caps to earn their first Stanley Cup Final win in franchise history and it couldn’t come at a more crucial time. They can’t afford to head back to Washington down 2-0 in the series. With increased offensive pressure like we saw in Game 1, there’s no reason not to believe the Caps can’t steal a game in Vegas.

We’ve seen some of their best hockey played this postseason and it’ll be needed more than ever tonight.