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 sixth entry, after the Capitals won 6-2 in Game 4 at Capital One Arena on Monday to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series. He discusses the loss and the mental state of the Golden Knights as they face the longest of odds in the series, which continues with Game 5 at Vegas on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).
That was the start to the game we wanted to have. We had a lot of good chances and we were doing a lot of things really well. But Washington is a good team too. I don't know if the 3-0 score at the end of the first period reflected how we played. I guess that is just hockey. That's one of the reasons you play a best-of-7 series, is because of games like these. We just have to build off the effort we had tonight. I thought we had a better effort, a more complete game, and again the score doesn't make it look that way. Just a tough loss.
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We'll probably dwell on it a little bit tonight and then it is over with, and just like last game, we'll be moving on to the next game and working on being even better. Again, they are a really good team and it's not going to be easy. We have to try to take some confidence for some of the things we did in this game; it was a hardworking game for us. It's always tough at the end of the night when the score doesn't reflect it. When you lose, you have to take the positives away and try to find confidence in some way.
Going home to Vegas, we usually come out strong there. We have to focus on a good start to Game 5 and playing in front of our fans, and who knows what can happen. We want to play like we did in the first 10 minutes of this game. That's been our strategy all playoffs; whenever we score first, it's usually good for us. Whoever scores first usually tends to have a better chance to win the game and it puts a little more pressure on the other team and it gives your team a little more confidence. I'm sure that is their strategy too, to come out, have a really good start, and get everybody involved in the game. We have to find a way to get that first goal and put some pressure on them instead of playing from behind.
Video: Lawton discusses the performance of Vegas in Game 4
I've never been part of a 3-1 series comeback that I can think of. But I know we have played some really good teams in these playoffs. We won four in a row against the Los Angeles Kings and won four straight against the Winnipeg Jets, and those are really hard teams to play against. In the Final, it would be the hardest feat to come back and win three in a row, especially against a good Washington team, but guys believe in here. There is going to be no quit in this locker room.
We're going to stay overnight here, and then fly back to Vegas in the morning and save a couple of hours with the three-hour time change, and the rest of the day will be off for us. Having that extra day between games with the travel means that Wednesday will be a practice day. The flight home will not be as fun being down 3-1, but we just have to keep building and move on.
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