Evgeny Kuznetsov Key In Return, Washington Capitals Go Up 2-1 In Series

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Evgeny Kuznetsov
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 02: Evgeny Kuznetsov #92 of the Washington Capitals celebrates his second-period goal against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game Three of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Capital One Arena on June 2, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The Washington Capitals came out of the gate flying in the third game of the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights. The first period ended without either side putting one away for their team, but Evgeny Kuznetsov and the Capitals managed to win more face-offs, put up more shots, throw more hits than their west coast rivals. This led to their game three victory.

Evgeny Kuznetsov Essential In Game Three Victory

Capitals Stick With It

In the second period is where the Capitals’ hard work finally paid off. They managed to get two shots passed Fleury. The first goal was the result of strong offensive pressure by the captain’s line. Alex Ovechkin managed to put away the first goal for his team after multiple chances which occurred in rapid succession for the determined Washington club. John Carlson and Kuznetsov managed to earn the two assists on their team’s first goal.

Kuznetsov wasn’t done putting up points in period number two, as he earned a goal of his own a little later. Kuznetsov, who was cutting in on the right-hand side of the net, showed marksmen like precision as he riffled the puck just under the blocker of Fleury and put his squad up by two.

Fleury Couldn’t Do It All

Marc-Andre Fleury stood on his head multiple times for his club. Aside from the giveaway goal Braden Holtby fed to Tomas Nosek of the Golden Knights, Fleury didn’t receive much offensive assistance from his team.

The Capitals had fired 26 shots on the Flower, four more than the Knights put on Holtby. Fleury was his usual self, and if his team could’ve produced more offensively, then perhaps the three goals he let in wouldn’t have been as detrimental as they were in this game.

The Fortress Makes the Difference

The Capitals managed to score four goals in game one of the series. However, the Golden Knights upped them with six of their own. Even in game two where the Capitals beat them by a score of 3-2, the Golden Knights kept the game close. They put up 13 more shots on net and won 11 more face-offs than the Capitals.

Game 3 was Vegas’ worst game so far in this series. It was clear the Capitals were outplaying the team from Sin City, and the stats more than back that up. The Capitals beat the Golden Knights in every major stats category. Most notably the Capitals were a more physical team than the Golden Knights, outhitting them 38 to 31. They also blocked a grand total of 26 shots, compared to Vegas’ nine shots blocked.

Head coach Gerard Gallant will undoubtedly be looking to make meaningful changes to the Golden Knights game-play going into game four. The Golden Knights will be hoping to recapture some momentum before returning to the desert for game five.

Game four will take place in Washington on Monday, June 4th at 8pm EST

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