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.
9 de diciembre 2018
|We´ll always be linked together forever - Wade reflects on playing with James before final match-up|
|O´Sullivan wins record seventh UK title|
|Chiefs secure playoff berth, Saints win NFC South|
|River Plate 3 Boca Juniors 1 (aet, 5-3 agg): Quintero and Martinez clinch Libertadores title in extr|
|WATCH: Chiefs QB Mahomes throws no-look pass|
|Dolphins defeat Patriots on miraculous final play|
|Kizzire eagle snatches QBE Shootout victory|
|AC Milan 0 Torino 0: Donnarumma shines, Cutrone misses late chance|
|Back to the drawing board for West Indies - Chase|
|Copa Libertadores: Messi and Griezmann among stars in Madrid for River-Boca Superclasico|
|Brady sets NFL record for most career TD passes|
|Copa Libertadores: Tevez named on Boca bench for Superclasico final|
|Premier League needs VAR, right now! - Benitez fumes over Dean´s decisions|
|McCall expects Itoje to fit for the Six Nations|
|Solari salutes Real Madrid character after ´ugly´ Huesca win|
|Berbatov defends under-fire Lukaku|
|Sarries crush Blues to maintain unbeaten start|
|Newcastle United 1 Wolves 2: Doherty punishes Yedlin red with late winner|
|Deeney jokes he´ll ´smash´ former Watford star Richarlison|
|Huesca 0 Real Madrid 1: Bale ends drought as Solari´s men edge to victory|
|Ponting: Umpires not looking at no-balls|
|Bale ends longest LaLiga goal drought|
|Porter backs Brees for MVP, Saints for Super Bowl|
|Verstappen eyeing 2019 title fight|
|Wall ´shouldn´t have played´ against Cavaliers after scoring just one point|
|Hazard: Man City the best team in the Premier League despite Chelsea win|
|LeBron explains why he gave a Grizzlies employee his game-worn shoes|
|Bangladesh cruise to ODI victory as seamers punish Windies|
|Football will win over violence, claims CONMEBOL president|
|Alcorcon support Reus Deportiu over unpaid players|
|Saponara explains cheeky celebration after last-gasp leveller|
|Godin and Filipe Luis return to Atletico training|
|Kick It Out condemns alleged racist abuse of Sterling|
|Emotional Oosthuizen clinches South African Open title|
|The Sunday Seven - 7 Key Opta facts for NFL Week 14|
|Martino salutes Atlanta´s grand plan|
|India´s tail must show greater application - Bangar|
|Mourinho: Diogo Dalot can be new Gary Neville|
|Sterling hits out at media coverage of black players|
|Lyon roars with defiance as Australia aim for unlikely victory|
|Bulls coach Boylen: Hooked starters ´embarrassing´ in record loss|
|Martinez pays tribute to Martino, Almiron after MLS Cup glory|
|LeBron: Final Wade matchup will be bittersweet|
|Alvarez-Kovalev rematch set for February 2|
|Newcastle Jets 2 Brisbane Roar 0: Sheppard, Jair score first A-League goals|
|India close in on victory in first Test|
|LeBron flirts with triple-double as Lakers down Grizzlies|
|Lomachenko unifies WBO, WBA titles with win over Pedraza|
|Joshua wants Wilder and Fury fights – Hearn|
|Mavericks rookie Doncic leads impressive fourth-quarter surge to beat Rockets|
|Martinez named MLS Cup MVP|
|Oklahoma´s Murray wins the Heisman Trophy|
|Atlanta United 2 Portland Timbers 0: Martinez scores again as Martino´s men win MLS Cup|
|Sarri to use Hazard as centre forward again|
|Ballon d´Or is a lie – Alba says Messi is world´s best|
|Messi: I needed some luck with free-kicks|
|Hoffman, Woodland in three-way tie for lead|
|Brook unconvincing in Zerafa victory|
|Leo unties any game - Valverde hails mesmeric Messi|
|Pochettino: Walker-Peters ready for Barcelona challenge|
8 de diciembre 2018
|Messi showed he is world´s best - Busquets|
|Messi scores two free-kicks in a LaLiga game for first time|
|Chelsea and police look into alleged racist abuse of Sterling|
|Espanyol 0 Barcelona 4: Magical Messi dazzles in derby demolition|
|Leicester City 0 Tottenham 2: Latest Son stunner buoys Spurs for Barca mission|
|We are here to be champions, not invincibles – City boss Guardiola bullish after first defeat|
|Sarri still writing off Chelsea´s title chances despite City win|
|Salihamidzic: De Jong is on Bayern´s radar|
|Messi makes more LaLiga history with goals record|
|Chelsea humility key to beating Manchester City, says David Luiz|