WASHINGTON -- David Perron talked Sunday about how the Vegas Golden Knights have to be better, from the top line of Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson and Reilly Smith on down.
Then Perron switched gears.
"Everyone's starting to write us off," he said. "It's not something we're not used to."
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The Golden Knights had a tremendous regular season and were outstanding through most of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Now trailing the Washington Capitals 2-1 in the Stanley Cup Final, there is some doubt as to whether they can get back to the game that worked so well for them in previous rounds.
But the Golden Knights, who trailed the Winnipeg Jets 1-0 in the Western Conference Final, aren't feeling any doubt ahead of Game 4 of the best-of-7 series Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).
"We had a lot of media thinking we'd get run over the entire series against [the Jets]," Perron said. "We find a way to win four in a row, win in five. We're in a familiar situation with a lot of doubters. It's fine with us. We have to step up and play the right way. Play the way that made us successful. It's a new day today. A new opportunity. We feel confident moving forward."
The Golden Knights can look back at the conference final for inspiration, but the game they played in that series has yet to show up in the Cup Final. They again made too many mistakes, struggled with puck possession and didn't create much offensively in a 3-1 loss in Game 3 on Saturday. Several players said they got too cute.
"I thought [the Capitals] defended well," right wing James Neal said Saturday. "We were getting clogged up a little bit. They sit back. We [have to] get pucks to the net. We didn't have enough shots. We didn't have enough bodies going to the net. They outbattled us. We're going to look at that and fix it."
Video: How the Golden Knights struggled in Game 3
Coach Gerard Gallant said Sunday that he would consider lineup changes.
"We [have to] step up our game," Gallant said. "In the three games, we haven't been good enough. If we don't step up our game, the same result is going to happen tomorrow night. We'll see what we're made of."
The Golden Knights have dispelled doubt since October. They're still looking for the formula that worked so well up to this point but are confident they'll find it.
"We haven't been down too much in the playoffs but we've faced adversity all year," right wing Ryan Carpenter said. "We're working hard and just focusing on Game 4. We've got to figure out a way to respond."
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