Image Courtesy of Las Vegas Review Journal
Golden Knights draw first blood in a thrilling 6-4 win over the Capitals.
By Chris Yackel
There is not much anyone can say about Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final except that it was nothing short of fantastic. It all started with environment of Las Vegas. The atmosphere was just pure electric. From the awe inspiring pregame performance, to the final empty netter to seal it for the Golden Knights, the fans and the atmosphere were first class. Whoever thought hockey would not work in Las Vegas clearly needs to get their head evaluated. This city is behind their team and it was apparent in Game 1.
The atmosphere was great, but the on ice play from both teams was incredible as well. This game saw 4 lead changes, which Doc Emerick pointed out was the most EVER in a Stanley Cup Final game. Both teams dominated certain points of the game, but this matchup was mostly back and forth from start to finish.
The first period saw Vegas strike first with a powerplay goal from Colin Miller who blasted one past Braden Holtby. The Caps however would respond with two goals in 42 seconds to take a 2-1 lead. The lead would not last long though as at the tail end of the first period William Karlsson tied the game 2-2. That would hold going into intermission.
The second period saw much of the same as the back and forth action between both teams continued. Reilly Smith gave Vegas a 3-2 lead early in the second, but the Capitals would respond. T.J. Oshie made a beautiful pass to John Carlson who had a wide open net and made it 3-3. It would stay tied 3-3 going into the second intermission.
The Caps came out firing in the third period as Tom Wilson would give the Caps a 4-3 lead just 1:10 into the third. This surge did not last long a Ryan Reeves would tie the game 4-4 just over a minute later. Splattered in the middle of this period was controversy. The third period saw some questionable officiating to say the least.
This was apparent after Tom Wilson leveled Jonathan Marchessault with a huge hit well after Marchessault released the puck from his stick. Vegas was not rewarded a powerplay off this clear case of interference. The hit was dirty to say the least as Marchessault would not return to the game after being put under concussion protocol.
After this occurred later on Tomas Nosek would give the Golden Knights the lead midway through the third. The Caps desperately tried to get back in this one and almost tied it on a couple of occasions, but ultimately failed to tie the game. Tomas Nosek would seal the game with an empty net goal to give Vegas a 6-4 lead and a 1-0 lead in the series.
If Game 1 was any indication of how this series will go then buckle up this is going to be a hell of a series. This series looks like it has the makings to go the distance. The Capitals will be sure to respond in Game 2 as Vegas will need to bring an A+ effort to take a 2-0 series lead. It will be interesting to see if the Caps will have to tie this series one a piece without Tom Wilson, who is an intricate part of their team. Wilson’s dirty hit on Jonathan Marchessault will definitely be looked at by the Department of player safety. Is the hit dirty enough to be worthy of suspension? We will find out. Either way Game 2 will sure shake up to be appointment television on Wednesday night.
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