Published: Tue, May 29, 2018
Sports | By Angie Alvarado

Tom Wilson laid out Vegas' Jonathan Marchessault with a huge, late hit

Tom Wilson laid out Vegas' Jonathan Marchessault with a huge, late hit

And the hockey team that never surrenders. To borrow from an old favorite, "Fight Club", the first rule of the Golden Knights Playoff Club is that there are no rules.

Nosek's victor gave Vegas a 6-4 win in an old-school Wild West shootout, the Golden Knights firing the opening salvo in this best-of-seven battle for hockey's crown jewel.

Seven minutes later, Golden Knights defenceman Shea Theodore found Nosek with a wonderful cross-ice pass for a backdoor goal.

"I don't know these days", Wilson said, asked if he expects to hear from the National Hockey League. "I expected (the pass) the whole time". And if it's anything like Game 1's back-and-forth battle, this series should be wildly entertaining.

Caps Coach Barry Trotz said after the game that he expects Wilson to be available for Game 2 on Wednesday. "That's what's exciting to me".

Monday marked the first game for the Capitals in the final since their only other appearance in 1998 when they were swept in four straight by the Detroit Red Wings.

"That was pretty cool, let me tell you", Capitals defenceman Nate Schmidt said of hearing his own name. We're going to stand up for our players. Wilson has been suspended three times during the year and this was another questionable play. And in the first period, both teams came to play.

The Golden Knights, who brushed aside the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks and the Jets to advance to the Cup final in a stunning first season, played just their 98th game in franchise history.

It was the start that Vegas had been known for.

Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and an assist and Tom Wilson, John Carlson and Brett Connolly also scored goals for Washington, while T.J. Oshie added a pair of primary assists for the Capitals. Vegas got three goals from its fourth line, all in the third period. But Washington's 2-1 lead did not last long. Neither team led by more than a goal throughout the game until an empty-netter from Nosek in the final seconds.

As the first period wound down in, Vegas' top line went on the attack with William Karlsson tying it 2-2 after a shot from Reilly Smith banked off the end boards and onto his waiting stick.

"There were some swings, some momentum (shifts) on both sides", said Fleury, who came in with a.947 save percentage in the playoffs.

"The fans got their money's worth tonight".

For a city that prides itself on entertainment, this game came as advertised.

The party just off the famed strip where there's a casino or a street performer at almost every turn started with a concert by rapper Lil Jon and continued with on-ice player introductions from famed ring announcer Michael Buffer.

Part of that was because of the goaltenders.

It was the first goal Holtby had allowed since May 19, after more than seven periods and 164 total minutes without letting one by. But neither was particularly sharp early on.

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.

The Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles are on-field rivals this week, but their managers are united in their support of the Washington Capitals in the Stanley Cup Final.

This time it was the fourth line, with Ryan Reaves - the Game 5 hero of the Western Conference final - cross-checking Carlson to the ice and then one-timing a pass in front to tie the game. Gallant also said he thought it warranted a major penalty; Wilson was assessed a minor for interference after the officials huddled to discuss the play.

"When I see it live, I didn't see much of it", Gallant added.

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