The Washington Capitals are now one win away from the Stanley Cup, defeating the Las Vegas Golden Knights 5-2 Monday night to increase their series lead to 3-1. The Capitals convincingly won both games on home ice, and have handed Las Vegas three straight losses for the first time in the postseason. Game 5 odds lean towards the Golden Knights, but the dream of a parade down the Vegas strip seems less likely by the day.
Stanley Cup Game 5 Odds
Game 5 will be Thursday in Las Vegas at 8 p.m. Eastern.
In Game 4, Washington wasted no time reinforcing the notion that they are the aggressor in the series. They scored three goals in the opening frame, dispiriting a Golden Knights team knowing they needed a bounceback game tonight.
WAshington has been the better team on special teams throughout the series, and Monday night was no different. Washington scored the opening goal on the Power Play just ten minutes into the game, but that was several minutes after Vegas had already blown a scoring chance of their own.
Look at this miss from James Neal:
Minutes later, T.J. Oshie was flicking a puck past Fluery and the Capitals had the first goal of the game. About seven minutes later, Evgeny Kuznetsov had his second goal of the game and the lead was doubled. Throughout the series, Washington has seen production from Kuznetsov and Ovechkin, while the top line of Las Vegas has been silent.
The Capitals added one more goal with 20 seconds left, effectively ending the game before the first intermission. After the first period, odds were as high as -2500 for those looking to grab a live moneyline on Washington.
Stanley Cup Game 5 Prediction
The Knights will be thankful they are headed back to Vegas.
Washington was not kind to America’s Sweethearts, who were thoroughly beaten at both ends in both games. Braden Holtby has without a doubt been the better keeper, and he excelled again Monday with another 28 saves.
What can Vegas do, besides **even more** celebrity appearances? They could start by improving on special teams, where they were once again without success. They finished 0/4 with a man advantage on the night, where the Capitals finished 2/3. Once again the Capitals frustrated Vegas by blocking shots, adding another 24 to protect Holtby.
It’s tough to ride with the Golden Knights at this point in the series. Kuznetsov is having his coming-out party as one of the best players in the game, and Alex Ovechkin is on a level Vegas simply can’t match.
Oh God, am I rooting for the Capitals now?
Really, the difference comes down to Marc-Andre Fleury. He gave his team three solid rounds, but Fleury has simply fallen apart against an experienced and superior offense.
Washington isn’t going to stop scoring. It’ll be up to Vegas to match that pace, something Holtby and a bevy of blocked shots have prevented in this series.
Prediction: Washington wraps it up, take the over