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Stanley Cup Final

Fleury, Golden Knights stay confident against Capitals in Cup Final

Allows three goals in Game 2 loss for total of seven in series, which is tied heading to Washington

by Danny Webster / Correspondent

LAS VEGAS -- Marc-Andre Fleury is finding saves more difficult to come by in the Stanley Cup Final.

The Vegas Golden Knights lost 3-2 to the Washington Capitals in Game 2 of the Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday. The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1. Game 3 is in Washington on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

After allowing 10 goals in five games during the Western Conference Final against the Winnipeg Jets, Fleury has allowed seven in the first two against Washington. Despite the uptick, the Golden Knights goaltender feels he's played fine.


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"I'm not too worried," said Fleury, who made 23 saves Wednesday. "We lost, it [stinks], but we put it behind us and keep going."

The Golden Knights lost for the first time in five games. 
Vegas took a 1-0 lead at 7:58 of the first period on James Neal's fifth goal of the postseason. Washington responded with three unanswered goals.

Capitals forward Lars Eller scored a 4-on-4 goal, set up by a pass from Michal Kempny that gave Eller an open net at 17:27 of the first period. Washington captain Alex Ovechkin scored his first Stanley Cup Final goal, a power-play goal, at 5:38 of the second period. Defenseman Brooks Orpik followed with a goal at 9:41 of the second; the puck deflected off Vegas forward Alex Tuch's skate, bounced off the ice, then off the post before going in.

Video: WSH@VGK, Gm2: Orpik scores on fortuitous deflection

"They're a good team. They have a lot of skill, a lot of good forwards," Fleury said. "They can create a lot. They don't shoot much. They just wait for chances. It's just about trying to stop the next one and move on.
"It's the little things that make a difference sometimes. A little bounce, things here and there, and it's 3-1 at that point."

Fleury said he should have stayed back in the crease on the Eller goal and play his attempt, rather than Kempny. Fleury's overaggressive play, a long-standing trait of his, remains fine with his teammates.

"That's the way we want him to play," defenseman Nate Schmidt said. "They're going to make good plays. That was a good play on the 4-on-4 goal. Sometimes you have to tip your cap."

Schmidt said the Capitals' patience in the offensive zone has been key to their success.

"They're looking for the good play," Schmidt said. "When they're making their plays, they're making their plays to guys with time and space. I also think us as a defensive group, we need to be a little tighter in doing our job. Forwards also have to do a little bit better in the backcheck. It's more of a collective group effort in front of Flower. He's been awesome for us. We just need to be better."

Video: WSH@VGK, Gm2: Fleury makes acrobatic save on Oshie

Tied 1-1 with the series shifting to the road is not uncommon for the Golden Knights; they defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-3 in overtime in Game 3 of the second round at San Jose to regain home-ice advantage.

Fleury said there's no panic.

"[The series is] a little tighter than we'd want it to be, but it's fine," Fleury said. "We didn't expect anything to be easy. They're a good team, they've had great success throughout these playoffs. We've just got to keep playing."


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