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Stanley Cup Final

Golden Knights display resilience in Game 1 win against Capitals

Knack for scoring big goals common throughout playoff run

by Danny Webster / Correspondent

LAS VEGAS -- The Vegas Golden Knights have made a habit of responding with crucial goals during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They did it again Monday.

Vegas scored three times in the third period to defeat the Washington Capitals 6-4 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena.

Game 2 of the best-of-7 series is here Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).


[RELATED: Complete Golden Knights vs. Capitals series coverage]


Washington took a 4-3 lead 70 seconds into the third period on forward Tom Wilson's goal, the fourth lead change of the game. It took 1:31 for Vegas to respond when Ryan Reaves scored for the second straight game to tie it 4-4.

"Nothing rattles us," Reaves said. "If you look throughout the year, another team scores a goal and we don't get rattled. I can't tell you how many times we've gone out on the next shift, two shifts later and scored. I think it's part of this team."

Video: Discussing the amount of offense in Game 1

Winning four straight games in the Western Conference Final after losing Game 1 to the Winnipeg Jets, Vegas scored key goals in those four games: Jonathan Marchessault's second goal of Game 2, James Neal's 12-second response in Game 3, Tomas Nosek's goal 43 seconds later in Game 4, and Reaves' series-clinching goal in Game 5.

The Golden Knights have won five straight and seven of their past eight.

"That's one of the biggest things of our group," defenseman Nate Schmidt said. "They score a goal, we come back. It's something we've done all playoffs. It's something we've done all year and it's something we've got to continue if it happens moving forward. Our guys know that the next shift, you've got to go and attack it. You can't sit back and wait for them to make a mistake."

Vegas had to respond when Marchessault, its top point scorer this postseason with 19 (eight goals, 11 assists), took a hit from Wilson at 5:45 of the third period and missed the next three shifts. With the status of their top-line forward uncertain, it was the Golden Knights' fourth line that gave them a 5-4 lead on Nosek's goal at 9:44 of the third.

"It just goes to show you our team, the depth of our group," Schmidt said. "We have that ability for that line to go out and make those plays. What more can you ask of a group that is just resilient up front? You have guys that can make plays at any time, pick up the slack if guys aren't having a good night."

Tweet from @PR_NHL: The @GoldenKnights have made a habit of responding after allowing a goal against, scoring within 2:00 of their opponent in five of their last six games. #NHLStats #StanleyCup

The winner of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final has gone on to win the series 78.2 percent of the time. Vegas, 7-1 at home in the playoffs, has a chance to go up 2-0 on Wednesday before going on the road, where it is 6-2.

"In a tight series when teams are blocking shots, Reaves goes hard to the net, Nosek made some good plays at the net," Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. "They're warriors and they were rewarded tonight."


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