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Caps Today, 5/30/18

May 30, 2018
The Capitals face the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena tonight in Game 2 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. 

Evgeny Kuznetsov recorded an assist in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final to extend his point streak to 11 games (6g, 10a), establishing a new franchise record for the longest point streak during the playoffs. Kuznetsov's point streak is the longest playoff point streak by any player since 2010 and just the fifth point streak of at least 11 games since 1997. Kuznetsov’s 25 points (11g, 14a) lead the playoffs and mark a franchise record for most points in a single postseason. Dating back to Feb. 24, Kuznetsov has 53 points (22g, 31a) in 38 games. Additionally, Kuznetsov is the eighth Russian-born player to record double digits in goals for a single playoff year and the fifth to do so at 25 or younger. In 59 career playoff games, Kuznetsov has recorded 44 points (22g, 21a), and his most recent point allowed Kuznetsov to pass Mike Gartner for 12th place in franchise history.


Super Carly - John Carlson scored a goal in Game 1 on May 28, his fourth of the playoffs. That marked Carlson's 17th career playoff goal, passing Kevin Hatcher (16) for the most by a defenseman in Capitals history. Carlson has recorded 17 points (4g, 13a) this postseason, setting a new franchise mark for points by a defenseman. Carlson’s 17 points are the most among defensemen in the playoffs. Carlson has recorded a point in 12 of the Capitals’ 20 games this postseason. In 96 career playoff games, which the most in franchise history among defensemen, Carlson has 52 points (17g, 35a) and one game-winning goal. 

Holtbeast – Braden Holtby has posted a 12-7-0 record with a 2.20 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage in 19 games this postseason. His 12 wins are tied for the Capitals' franchise record for most in a postseason (Olie Kolzig: 1998). Following a loss this postseason, Holtby is 4-2 with a 2.18 goals against average. Additionally, during the regular season, Holtby has played in 160 career games following one day of rest, recording 2.16 goals against average and a .927 save percentage, his lowest goals against average and his highest save percentage of any other combination of days with rest. In his playoff career, Holtby has posted a record of 41-37 with six shutouts (tied with Kolzig for the franchise record), a 2.04 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage in a franchise-record 78 playoff games. The Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, native ranks second in NHL playoff history (min. 50 games played) in career save percentage and second in career goals-against average. In addition, Holtby ranks first among active NHL goaltenders (min. 20 games played) in career playoff save percentage and goals-against average. Holtby has allowed two goals or fewer in 49 of his 78 career playoff games and Washington has posted a 35-14 record in those games.

The Great Eight – Alex Ovechkin has scored 12 goals this postseason and is now two goals shy of the franchise record for most goals in the postseason set by John Druce, when he scored 14 goals in 15 games in 1990. In addition, Ovechkin has registered 23 points (12g, 11a) in 20 games and is two points shy of Evgeny Kuznetsov's current mark this postseason (Kuznetsov: 11g, 14a), which is the all-time franchise mark for points in a postseason. Ovechkin, who is fourth among active players with 58 career playoff goals, is tied with Bernie Geoffrion, Luc Robitaille, Mike Modano and Guy Lafleur for 36th in NHL history. Additionally, Ovechkin is tied for third among active NHL players (min. 20 games played) in career playoff goals per game (0.50) and tied for sixth in playoff points per game (0.97). Among the top 10 active career playoff goal scorers, Ovechkin ranks fourth, and his 0.50 goals per game ranks first among players on that list. In 117 career playoff games, Ovechkin has 113 points (58g, 55a) and ranks first in franchise history in playoff games played, goals, points, power play goals (19), power play points (48), game-winning goals (8), shots (529) and second in assists. Ovechkin aims to become the third player in NHL history to score 600 career regular-season goals before winning his first Stanley Cup (Luc Robitaille: 620 goals before 2002 Cup; Dave Andreychuk 634 goals before 2004 Cup). Additionally, Ovechkin can become the 16th player in NHL history to play at least 1,000 career regular-season games before winning his first Cup and the second to do so with the team for which he has played at least 1,000 games (Steve Yzerman with Detroit). He also seeks to become the ninth player to have 1,000 career points before capturing his first Cup. If the Capitals win the series and capture the Stanley Cup, Ovechkin (Moscow, Russia) would become the first Russian player to captain a Stanley Cup champion. 

Go Conno - Brett Connolly scored the Capitals' first goal of the game during Game 1 on May 28. That marked Connolly's fifth goal of the playoffs, which is tied for the fourth-most on the team. This postseason, Connolly's 1.40 goals per 60 minutes of five-on-five play leads the Capitals. During the regular season, Connolly recorded 15 goals, tying his single season career high and marking his second-straight season with 15 goals. Of the 168 NHL players that have recorded 30 total goals over the last two seasons, Connolly has the lowest average time on ice (11:21).

Big Willy – Tom Wilson has recorded 13 points (4g, 9a) in 17 playoff games. Of Wilson's 13 points, 12 have come at even strength, and his 2.65 even strength points per 60 minutes of play are second on the Capitals (Evgeny Kuznetsov: 2.71). Wilson recorded 14 goals this regular season, doubling his previous season high of seven set in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 season and his 35 points (14g, 21a) were a career high. Of Wilson’s 35 points, 33 came at even strength. Wilson has drawn nine minor penalties in the playoffs, tied for fourth most in the postseason.

Must Read/See/Hear Material

Dump ‘n Chase: Caps and Knights Seek Game 2 Improvements / POSTGAME NOTEBOOK: Knights 6, Caps 4

Washington Post: Capitals still adjusting to ‘pretty bad’ ice conditions in the desert / The Capitals and Golden Knights share a road-trip tradition: Mario Kart / D.C. Sports Bog: Game 1 of Stanley Cup finals draws record TV ratings in D.C. and Las Vegas

Washington Times: High-scoring Game 1 out of the norm for both goalies / 'It's just unforgivable': Referees criticized over Reaves check / Capitals do massive rating in D.C. market for Game 1  / Ted Leonsis, Capitals owner, sends 200 Monumental employees to Las Vegas for Stanley Cup

NBC Sports Washington: Capitals vs. Golden Knights Game 2 Stanley Cup Final: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live stream / Caps must 'adjust' to the challenging ice surface in Vegas / 200 Monumental employees get a surprise trip to Vegas to watch the Caps thanks to Ted Leonsis / Conn Smythe Trophy watch: It's not over yet 5 Keys: Capitals at Golden Knights, Game 2 / Capitals want to take pace away from Vegas in Game 2 of Stanley Cup Final / Capitals have been in 'tougher positions' than trailing Stanley Cup Final / Capitals must tighten up against Golden Knights in Game 2 of Cup Final / Ratings for Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final set market records / Stanley Cup Final blog: Chandler Stephenson / Stanley Cup Final buzz: Golden Knights, Capitals gear up for Game 2 / Mailbag: Turnovers could decide Stanley Cup Final

AP: Knights, Caps try to keep their cool in Vegas at Cup Final

The Athletic: Whether he’s ‘pops’ or big brother, Brooks Orpik’s mentorship has molded this young Caps team

Buffalo News: Mike Harrington: After close call in Game 1, Caps ready to try again

Canadian Press: Capitals, Knights both happy to put sloppy Game 1 behind them

ESPN: Why Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final was 'peak hockey'

FOX5 D.C.: Capital One Arena hosts free viewing party to watch Washington Capitals in Stanley Cup Game 2

The Hockey News: The Capitals' Best Players Need To Be Better In Game 2 -- And Ovechkin And Holtby Know It

NBC4 Washington: Photo Gallery: Caps Battle Golden Knights in Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final

NBC Sports: Capitals, Golden Knights expecting a much different Game 2 / Will Stanley Cup Final continue to be tough on Fleury, Holtby?

New York Times: In the Stanley Cup Finals, Alex Ovechkin’s Legacy Continues to Evolve

Omnisport: Stanley Cup Final: No hearing over Tom Wilson's huge hit that shook up Jonathan Marchessault

Reuters: Ovechkin, Capitals remain '100 percent' confident

Sports Capitol: Capitals have made environment adjustments, on-ice changes are next / Tom Wilson remains in spotlight, but out of trouble — for now

Sports Illustrated: Ted Leonsis Surprises 200 Employees with Trip to Vegas for Stanley Cup

SportsNet: Golden Knights betting favourites again in Game 2 of Stanley Cup Final / Ice issues adding to bedlam of wild Final for Capitals, Golden Knights / Why Golden Knights’ David Perron is unlikely to get 10-game suspension / NHL’s Top 10 UFAs of 2018: The best defencemen available (John Carlson mentioned)

Sports Xchange: Knights hoping for more control in Game 2 vs. Capitals Capitals alumnus from Northern Ontario enjoying the Stanley Cup run / Nate Schmidt is responsible for both the Golden Knights & Caps playing Mario Kart on road trips

Tampa Bay Times: Two former Lightning pieces playing key roles in Stanley Cup final (Brett Connolly mentioned)

TSN: Hottest Cup Final in history wreaks havoc on Vegas ice / Capital One shows support for the Capitals by changing their logo during Stanley Cup Final / Ovechkin had the ultimate hockey reaction to getting hit in the face with a puck

WJLA: Navy father and young daughter reunited and cheering on the Capitals together

WNST: Nine Thoughts On The Caps-Vegas Series After Game One

TV/Audio Clips:

Washington Capitals: Capitals Locker Room | May 29 / Caps 365 | May 29 / Barry Trotz | May 29

106.7 The Fan: Sports Junkies on Ted Leonsis Flying Employees to Las Vegas (7 a.m.)

ESPN: Vegas feeling good as Washington aims to bounce back / Wilson calls hit on Marchessault 'just a hockey play' / Tue, 5/29 - In the Crease - Breaking down the Golden Knights' Game 1 victory

ESPN New York 98.7: Game Misconduct Podcast: Game 1 goes to Vegas

Fox News: The Five on Capitals Owner Ted Leonsis Surprising Staff with a Stanley Cup Final Trip to Vegas (5 p.m.)

Hockey Buzz: Caps Goalie Holtby Broke 2 NHL Rules in Game 1

Japers’ Rink: JRR Episode 90: Wasted Chances (Round 4, Game 1 Recap)

NBC Sports Washington: What are the biggest adjustments the Caps need to make? / Mike Milbury goes after officials after crucial missed call

NHL Network: NHL Tonight: Game 2 importance / NHL Tonight: Game 2 adjustments / NHL Tonight: Capitals' fatigue / NHL Tonight: Vegas' penalty kill / NHL Tonight: Andre Burakovsky / Hat Trick Challenge for Wednesday (Capitals mentioned) / NHL Now: Tom Wilson's hit / NHL Now: Tarik El-Bashir

Sports Capitol: Red Line: Caps-VGK Game 2 preview live from Las Vegas; John Carlson

SportsNet: Golden Knights Rolling, Keeping Up Pressure Heading Into Game 2 / Capitals Face Uphill Climb As Stanley Cup Final Favours Game 1 Winners / Connolly Happy With Capitals’ Chances Despite Game 1 Loss / Capitals & Golden Knights Enjoying Their Moment Regardless Of Results / Perron Hit Shows Teams Will Be ‘Bending’ The Rules All Series Long / Kypreos: ‘I’d Be Very Surprised’ If Trotz Returns To Capitals / Referees Let Golden Knights And Capitals Play Hard

TSN: What is the secret to Vegas' offensive success in Game 1? / Caps, Knights aim to to curtail entertainment value in Game 2 / The Panel: How Vegas managed to keep Ovechkin out of his 'office' / Dreger: Holtby concerned with mishandling of puck early in Game 1 / Capitals recognize the small adjustments they need to make / Carlson: Both hits altered the game / Button: Knights recognized opportunity and took advantage in Game 1 / The Panel: Should Vegas be concerned that Wilson won't face discipline? / Cup Conversations: Should Wilson have been suspended? / Perron expects Game 2 to be different than Game 1 / Why didn't the NHL discipline Wilson for his hit on Marchessault?

TSN Edmonton 1260: Rishaug: Officials sent signal to both teams early on

TSN Montreal 690: Ward: Doesn't matter who the underdog is / McGuire: Best opener I've seen in Final / Ferraro: NHL might as well burn the rule book / Fraser: Wilson hit should've been a major penalty / Habs Lunch: Wilson is the centre of attention / Gagnon: Wilson should get suspended / Dreger: Don't expect Wilson to get any games

TSN Toronto 1050: McGuire: Game 1 in Vegas was the loudest building I've ever been in / Simmons: Stanley Cup Game 1 atmosphere was ridiculous / Dreger: I doubt the Capitals will overreact to the Game 1 loss

TSN Vancouver 1040: Albert: Game 1 sets a good tone for rest of Cup Final / Woodley: Would be nice to discuss goals instead of another Wilson hit / Lebrun: Cheapshot from Wilson; don't see CBA talks starting early

WAMU-FM: Viewing Party (5 a.m.)

WJLA-TV ABC 7: Viewing Party (4 p.m.) / Viewing Party (5 a.m.)

WNST: Ed Frankovic joins Nestor to recap tough Game 1 loss for Caps in Las Vegas / Caps historian Ted Starkey joins Nestor recap Caps Game 1 loss in Las Vegas / Scott Burnside of The Athletic sets stage for long Stanley Cup Finals with Nestor / Dennis Koulatsos and Nestor recap Game 1 Caps loss in Las Vegas

WRC-TV NBC 4: Viewing Party (6 a.m.) / Viewing Party (5 a.m.) / Viewing Party (5 a.m.) / Viewing Party (6 a.m.) / On Ted Leonsis Flying Employees to Las Vegas (5 a.m.)

WTOP: My Take: It’s still kind of wild the Caps are playing for the cup

WTTG-TV FOX 5: Viewing Party and Ted Leonsis Flying Employees to Las Vegas (5 a.m.) / Viewing Party (5 a.m.) / Viewing Party (6 a.m.)

WUSA-TV CBS 9: Viewing Party (11 p.m.) / Viewing Party (4 a.m.) / Viewing Party (5 a.m.) / Viewing Party (5 a.m.) / Viewing Party (6 a.m.) / Viewing Party (6 a.m.)

Golden Knights Clips:

AP: Reaves bolstering Vegas' fourth line with smarter play

The Athletic: LeBrun: The origin of the ‘Golden Misfits’ nickname and the group chat that stoked Vegas’ special bond

Knights on Ice: Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final draws historic TV rating in Las Vegas Golden Knights display resilience in Game 1 win against Capitals / Fleury hard on himself despite Golden Knights win in Game 1 of Cup Final / Reaves playing key role for Golden Knights in Cup Final after rough start

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Game 2 goal for Stanley Cup goalies is to start limiting them / Golden Knights find too many Capitals in Fleury’s face / Knights’ ice chief defends surface after Capitals complain / Not much has changed with unpredictable NHL officials / Capitals focus on Knights’ ability to make plays behind net / Price is right to bet on Capitals to upset Knights in Game 2 / Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final produces record ratings

Las Vegas Sun: T-Mobile crew works to smooth out ice issues for Game 2 / Stanley Cup by the odds: Sports book preview and picks of Game 2

National Post: 'Just pure noise': Razzle of Golden Knights' pre game show meets dazzle of Las Vegas itself