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Golden Knights top Capitals in wild Game 1 of Stanley Cup final

30 May 2018

The Capitals kept pace until they couldnt anymore.

Indeed, a first-time NHL champ will be crowned next month after a Final between two teams that arrived at hockey's ultimate destination from very different directions. Depth players are already making their presences felt, so it's easy to see that both teams sport the sort of supporting casts you usually need to make it this far. "Two years ago I was walking around Ann Arbor kicking stones and couldn't get a job".

The Golden Knights moved to 7-1 at home in the the playoffs before one of the league's loudest crowds. It was also historic, as it was the first time a Stanley Cup Final game ever featured four lead changes.

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The back-and-forth action was fit for a show on the Las Vegas Strip.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves for the Golden Knights. Never separated by more than one goal until the empty netter.

Vegas opened the scoring at 7:15 of the first period when Miller scored his first of the playoffs with blast from the point on a power play that beat a screened Holtby. But then it was Washingtons turn to respond. He scored easily, tying the game 8:29 into the second period. Holtby stood strong between the pipes, but eventually surrendered the game to the Golden Knights.

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You only get one first Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Keeli and her mother attended a game while the Knights were in Winnipeg during the playoffs, with Keeli the only Knights fan in her section, surrounded by a sea of white that went wild as the Jets took the ice. The Capitals lost the first two games at home in Round 1 against Columbus but won next four. But Washington seemed to push past its nerves and settle into the charged atmosphere. But, just as Vegas has done time and again in these playoffs, the Golden Knights did not take long to answer back. Its like a party. Without him, they weren't beating us previous year. This marks the 12th consecutive year that Emrick, Olczyk and McGuire will call the Stanley Cup Final for NBC Sports, one of the longest streaks by any broadcast team calling a major USA team sport championship. Ovechkin skated in circles, antsy and anxious for the game to start.

Although Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov, who have the top postseason point totals for the Capitals, assisted on Wilson's second-period tally, they didn't have much of an impact on the contest, as they combined for five of Washington's 28 shots on goal. We haven't had many games this year where we are the decisive line on the ice and it's not going to happen every single game, but tonight it was fun to help the team offensively. Judging by Monday night's game, Washington will struggle with the group's elite speed and tight forechecking just as the Western teams did.

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Golden Knights top Capitals in wild Game 1 of Stanley Cup final