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Stanley Cup Final blog: Ryan Carpenter

Golden Knights forward says team confident, focused on Game 5 against Capitals

by Ryan Carpenter / Special to NHL.com

Vegas Golden Knights forward Ryan Carpenter will be keeping his own blog throughout the 2018 Stanley Cup Final against the Washington Capitals. He will check in regularly with behind-the-scenes access.

Carpenter, 27, joined the Golden Knights on Dec. 13 after he was claimed off waivers from the San Jose Sharks. He had 15 points (nine goals, six assists) in 52 regular-season games. In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, he has five assists in 17 games.

Here is Carpenter's seventh entry, where he discusses the confidence of the Golden Knights as they trail the Capitals 3-1 in the best-of-7 series with Game 5 at Vegas on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS). 

We know the odds are against us in this series now, but we just have to have fun with it and work hard. That is the answer for us as we try to extend this series past Game 5 tomorrow.

 

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

 

We thought Game 4 (a 6-2 loss) was one of our hardest-working games and we know that Washington is a good team, so we are going to have to play a disciplined game, a hard game, and capitalize on our chances.

We are confident in our goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. He's gotten us to this point. Having him back there, I feel it is not a stretch to win two or three games in a row, but we just have to start with tomorrow. That is where all our focus is, on Game 5. 

We've won multiple games in a row earlier in the playoffs, and other teams have strung together three wins, so we know it can be done. It starts with one win.

Video: Shane Hnidy previews Game 5 for the Golden Knights

I think this team has had a lot of adversity and kind of doubted all year, and somehow, we got here to the Cup Final. I mean, we are in a place where Washington is a favorite now leading the series 3-1, but the guys in here have not given up hope, and it is going to be a battle. 

There is so much motivation we can draw on now. We know people have doubted us and that is one motivation, but there are others. We want to win the Stanley Cup. We want to play for each other. But I think guys have had a chip on their shoulder all season for whatever reason and I think that has helped the bond of our team and that carried us into the playoffs, where people thought we would lose in the Western Conference First Round. We're going to keep working hard and prove people wrong.

It's been special the way the city has embraced us after what happened on Oct. 1 with the shooting, and in the aftermath, the whole Vegas Strong movement and the unity in this city. It's been special the way the fans have supported the team all year. I don't know that that has ever happened with an expansion team. 

Coming in here during the season, I never thought it would be anything close to this. This has been absolutely amazing, one of the most fun times I have had playing hockey. To have that motivation to play for our fans, to play for the heroes in this city, it will be in our minds for sure. 

Look at the rink today for practice; it was full again. Our fans are still behind us, still pulling for us. They have been awesome. We're down 3-1 in the series and they are showing up in waves and selling out practice. They still believe in us and we still believe in this locker room. Now, we have to go out and play our best in Game 5. We can't wait for the challenge.

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