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Playoff Round Up: Holy Holtby

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Who is going to win this series? No one knows.

May 28, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (70) defends the net against the Vegas Golden Knights in the second period in game one of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena.  Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

There was certainly a lot of excitement going into this series. On one hand, we have an expansion team who defied the odds and made it to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season, while on the other hand there’s a veteran team who has made it to the playoffs four consecutive seasons but has never made it to the final. Both games in the series have been very entertaining. Here’s a quick recap of what you may have missed.

Game 1: Vegas Golden Knights 6, Washington Capitals 4

The Caps and Knights combined for a total of 135 shot attempts with ten goals scored. That number is wild. It was a fast-paced, back and forth game. Vegas’ Colin Miller had the opening goal on the power play. Brett Connolly responded for Washington, finding the net around the 15-minute mark to tie up the game. Nicklas Backstrom gave the Caps a 2-1 lead, but red-hot William Karlsson tied it up with a Vegas goal. This all happened in the first period.

Period two started off with an early Vegas goal scored by Reilly Smith. John Carlson responded for Washington and the score was tied up again. Period three saw an opening minute goal from Tom Wilson, but the Golden Knights went on to dominate the rest of the game, scoring three unanswered goals. Ryan Reaves had the first one, while Tomas Nosek found the net twice. Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves, while Braden Holtby made 28.

Game 2: Washington Capitals 3, Vegas Golden Knights 2

This game mirrored Game 1 when it came to back-and-forth scoring. Vegas opened up Game 2 with the first goal again, this time from James Neal. Lars Eller responded for Washington, tying it up right before the end of the first. Washington took the lead at the beginning of the second period. Alex Ovechkin netted his career first Stanley Cup Final goal. Brooks Orpik brought the lead to 3-1 in favor of the Capitals. Never count Vegas out, though. They still had one more goal in them. Shea Theodore scored a late second period goal, but it wasn’t enough. Braden Holtby made possibly the most important save of his life in the final minutes of the third period ensuring the Capitals the win.

With a scoreless third period, the Caps took home a split series. Game 3 is tonight at 5:00 PM PST. Who do you think will take the series lead?