Las Vegas vs Washington Game 3 Recap Stanley Cup Final, June 2, 2018
Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov (1-1—2) each scored in the second period to lift the Capitals to a 2-1 series lead in the first Stanley Cup Final game in Washington, D.C., since June 16, 1998.
When the Final has been tied 1-1, the winner of Game 3 ultimately has gone on to capture the Stanley Cup 77.8% of the time since the series went to the best-of-seven format in 1939 (21-of-27 series). However, the loser of Game 3 in the past three such instances (2004 TBL, 2013 CHI and 2015 CHI) has rebounded to win the championship.
OVECHKIN MATCHES FRANCHISE RECORD IN WIN
Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin opened the scoring with his 14th goal of the playoffs (22 GP), matching Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele (17 GP) for the League lead and also tying John Druce’s (15 GP in 1990) single-year franchise record.
Only one NHL player since 1997 has potted more goals in a single postseason: Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby in 2009 (15 in 24 GP) en route to winning the Stanley Cup.
Ovechkin (60-55—115 in 119 GP) became the 34th player in League history to register 60 career playoff goals. Only four other active NHLers have reached the milestone: Patrick Marleau (72 in 184 GP), Sidney Crosby (66 in 160 GP) and Evgeni Malkin (62 in 158 GP).
Ovechkin’s average of 0.50 goals per playoff game ranks ninth in NHL history among players with at least 100 postseason appearances.
Ovechkin scored his 33rd goal in 55 career games (regular season and playoffs) against Vegas netminder Marc-Andre Fleury, his second-highest total versus any NHL goaltender behind Henrik Lundqvist (35 in 71 GP).
Ovechkin now has 11-13—24 in 19 career Game 3s, his highest point (tied) and assist totals and second-highest goal total of any playoff game. The Capitals improved to 8-11 in those contests (2-3 at home).
KUZNETSOV PADS PLAYOFF SCORING LEAD
Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov (Chelyabinsk, Russia) posted 1-1—2, his sixth multi-point performance of the playoffs, to pad his postseason scoring lead (12-15—27 in 22 GP). Teammate Alex Ovechkin (Moscow, Russia) ranks second with 14-11—25 (22 GP).
Only two Russian-born players have led the NHL in postseason scoring during the League’s modern era (since 1943-44): Detroit’s Sergei Fedorov (Pskov, Russia) in 1995 and Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin (Magnitogorsk, Russia) in 2009 and 2017.
SMITH-PELLY PROVIDES LATE INSURANCE TALLY
Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly scored with 6:07 remaining in regulation to give Washington a 3-1 lead. Smith-Pelly now has five goals in 22 playoff games (5-1—6) after scoring seven times in 75 regular-season contests (7-9—16) in 2017-18.
CAPITALS EXORCISE HOME ICE, GAME 3 DEMONS
Washington improved to 5-5 at Capital One Arena this postseason, outscoring opponents 33-28. Overall, the Capitals upped their record to 69-71 in 140 all-time playoff games, picking up their first such win in the Stanley Cup Final (1-2).
Washington also improved to 18-29 in 47 all-time Game 3s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (5-13 at home), including a 3-1 record this year (1-1 at home).
GOLDEN KNIGHTS PLAY 100TH GAME . . .
The Golden Knights played their 100th overall game, falling to 13-5 in the playoffs (18 GP) following a 51-24-7 regular season (82 GP). A breakdown.
. . . SUFFER CONSECUTIVE LOSSES FOR FIRST TIME IN TWO MONTHS
Vegas now has suffered first consecutive losses for the first time since its final two games of the regular season (April 5-7). The Golden Knights had been 3-0 in outings following a loss during the playoffs, outscoring opponents 12-7 in that scenario prior to Game 3.
NOSEK CONTINUES RECENT SURGE
Golden Knights forward Tomas Nosek scored his fourth goal in his past five outings dating to Game 4 of the Western Conference Final vs. WPG (4-1—5). He had eight goals in 94 career NHL contests (regular season and playoffs) prior to this stretch (8-9—17).
CELEBRITIES JOIN STANLEY CUP LIVE
The third episode of Stanley Cup Live took place in front of thousands of fans on the steps of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The latest installment featured appearances from GRAMMY Award-winning artists Sting and Shaggy following their free concert, Wheel of Fortune host and Capitals season-ticket holder Pat Sajak, and Saturday Night Live comedian Kenan Thompson.
— NHL (@NHL) June 3, 2018
2018 NHL SCOUTING COMBINE CONCLUDES IN BUFFALO
The 2018 NHL Scouting Combine presented by adidas, featuring 102 players eligible for this year’s draft – including top-ranked international skater Rasmus Dahlin and No. 1-ranked North American skater Andrei Svechnikov – concluded Saturday with fitness testing in Buffalo.