Washington goaltender Braden Holtby said defensemen like Orpik are usually his favorite players because of what they do in front of the net. He finished with 28 saves. It was the first goal against Holtby in 62:14 of ice time, since Game 3.
This one got chippy at the end when Oshie broke Vegas defenseman Colin Miller's nose on a hit and was given a game-ending 10-minute misconduct along with Golden Knights forwards Deryk Engelland and Ryan Reaves.
One of the strengths of this Washington team has been the players' ability to move past the losing postseason culture. Neal fired across the crease and Holtby extended his paddle, much like he did in robbing Alex Tuch in the final minute of Game 2. Amid that, Connolly scored on a five-on-three power play with 1:09 left.
That's not to say Vegas didn't have chances.
"The city is excited, the fans are excited, but it's only two [wins]", said Ovechkin, now in his 13th season with the Caps. Now he and the Golden Knights have lost back-to-back games for the first time this postseason, which is not Fleury's fault thanks to a spotty defense and an offense that's struggle to gain a foothold in the Capitals' zone. It has put the pressure squarely on the shoulders of Vegas and head coach Gerard Gallant, who is already publicizing possible adjustments and lineup changes in advance of Game 4.
In the second period, a clearly frustrated Neal asked one of the Golden Knights' equipment managers to rub and kiss his stick for good luck. "It's fine with us", said Vegas forward David Perron, whose team will look to even the series 2-2 in Monday's Game 4. This is the Capitals' series: Vegas actually came out very strong in Game 4 and carried the play early, but led by Holtby, the Capitals did not come even close to breaking. Full stop: This is not to suggest that Marc-Andre Fleury deserves to be the fall guy, but the difference between the Cup final and the other three series is Fleury is not giving his team that momentum-changing stop when it needs it and he's not stealing games the way he was when he was putting together a Conn Smythe Trophy portfolio in previous rounds. "There's things that they do that have given us some difficulties and we've adjusted".
Meanwhile, the Caps were held without a lot of high-danger chances, but they made the most of what they got.
In order to bounce back, Vegas must register more shots on goal.
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I asked him in front of the group because it might be helpful for the younger members of the group to hear that. "I wasn't aware of the conversation he had had with his family".
2nd period brought on more action but saw only one goal scored and that was for the team who had everything going right for them through the whole game the Capitals John Carlson scores his 5th of the playoffs at 15:23 on the power play. "They took penalties and we're OK with that if they want to take penalties".
The Capitals made no such mistake when their first big chance presented itself on the power-play with Oshie burying a rebound of an Evgeny Kuznetsov shot past Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury almost 10 minutes into the opening period.
"It was frustrating because of the score", Gallant said. "We want the Cup".
"I've never been there", Kuznetsov said. It's hard to see the Golden Knights beating the Caps three times in a row, but crazier things have happened.
Carlson's power-play goal was set up by Kuznetsov's pass.
Tom Wilson and Devante Smith-Pelly both scored in the final four minutes of the period after T.J. Oshie put the Capitals on top with a power-play goal 9:56 into the game.
Vegas' road record in the playoffs fell to 6-4. The Toronto Maple Leafs erased a 3-0 deficit in 1942 against the Detroit Red Wings.