When the 2018 NHL Season started, the Washington Capitals were a bit of an afterthought after missing many opportunities to win a Stanley Cup and the Vegas Golden Knights were just happy to be there.
Once the season got started, the Golden Knights put people on notice and it quickly became evident that they were not an ordinary expansion team. Even after winning the Pacific Division, many didn’t believe in them in the playoffs, but they basically steamrolled the Western Conference—losing just three times in their first 15 postseason games.
For the Capitals, they finished with 100-plus points for the fourth straight season but were still trying to get over that second-round hump. After finally getting by the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Capitals were pushed to the brink versus Tampa Bay, but qualified for the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1997-98.
Despite getting by the Penguins, the Capitals run into a familiar foe in Marc-Andre Fleury in the Finals. Washington has met Fleury’s team in the playoffs on three occasions—2009, 2016 & 2017. Matt Murray started the 2016 series, but Fleury has 14 career playoff games vs. Washington and has gone 8-6 with a 2.80 GAA and .902 SV%.
Fleury, who had a tough time in the playoffs at times in Pittsburgh, has been sensational this year—going 12-3 with a 1.68 GAA and .947 SV% in 15 starts. He leads a Golden Knights team, who beat the Capitals in both of their meetings this season.
2018 NHL Stanley Cup Schedule:
- Game 1: [Mon, May 28] Washington @ Vegas (8:00 PM ET)
- Game 2: [Wed, May 30] Washington @ Vegas (8:00 PM ET)
- Game 3: [Sat, June 2] Vegas @ Washington (8:00 PM ET)
- Game 4: [Mon, June 4] Vegas @ Washington (8:00 PM ET)
- Game 5: [Thu, June 7] Washington @ Vegas (8:00 PM ET)
- Game 6: [Sun, June 10] Vegas @ Washington (8:00 PM ET)
- Game 7: [Wed, June 13] Washington @ Vegas (8:00 PM ET)
|Goals||J. Marchessault – 8||A. Ovechkin – 12|
|Assists||R. Smith – 14||E. Kuznetsov – 13|
|Points||J. Marchessault – 18||E. Kuznetsov – 24|
|PPG||A. Tuch – 3||T. Oshie – 5|
|PPP||J. Marchessault – 6||J. Carlson – 10|