Theodore's struggles have Golden Knights in Cup Final hole

Caps vs Golden Knights pregame Feels like 1998
    	 	  	 
 	  	  		By Chris Cerullo

Caps vs Golden Knights pregame Feels like 1998 By Chris Cerullo

If a Fall Out Boy concert was not enough fun then remember the meaning of this game a game to decide if this series turns into a best of 3 or a very scary 3-1 Washington lead.

The Washington Capitals are one win away from the first Stanley Cup championship in the 43-year history of the franchise.

Tom Wilson and Devante Smith-Pelly both scored in the final four minutes of the period after T.J. Oshie put the Capitals on top with a power-play goal 9:56 into the game.

John Carlson, Michal Kempny and Brett Connolly had the other goals for the Capitals.

The Caps saw Oshie add an assist while Nicklas Backstrom logged a pair of assists followed by Evgeny Kuznetsov who added three helpers to make a victor of Braden Holtby and his 28 saves. The expansion Knights won Game 1, but have now lost three straight for the first time since late November and early December.

After Vegas put on a show in the first two games of the series with Michael Buffer introducing players and a Knight vanquishing Capitals invaders, Washington had "Wheel of Fortune" host and longtime season-ticket holder Pat Sajak reading off the starting lineups.

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Midnight has come early for the Vegas Golden Knights.

It's been a suddenly frustrating run for the Golden Knights, who scored only three goals in the two games here and have given up 16 goals in the series.

Evgeny Kuznetsov and the red-hot Washington Capitals just steamrolled their way to positioning themselves to within a win of their first Stanley Cup. The only club to rally from such a deficit was the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, who completed a rally from a 3-0 hole against the Detroit Red Wings.

Captain Alex Ovechkin gave the Caps the lead with a goal in the second period.

The must-win Golden Knights arrived on time, created chances, but couldn't get one to go. "There was a lot of that (in Game 4)". The Golden Knights instead selected defenseman Jon Merrill.

Kempny said "probably nobody knew my name when I came here or played in Chicago", and Smith-Pelly had his name on the back of three other National Hockey League teams' jerseys before this season.

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Vegas players reported decent conditions after their morning skate at Capital One Arena, or at least better than Game 1 in the desert. There is nearly a poetic element to it all, that it was Neal the former Penguin, and that they're beating Marc-Andre Fleury now, the man who stood in their way for so many of those sorry springs.

This much is certain: The reeling Golden Knights were looking for something, anything, to build on when they entered Game 4, and a 1-0 lead would have been splendid.

"You only get so many chances to stick", said Smith-Pelly, a 2010 second-round pick who bounced from Anaheim to Montreal to New Jersey, never putting up more than 17 points in a season.

They won the Pacific Division in the regular season and have been even better in the playoffs as they have defeated the Los Angeles Kings in four games, the San Jose Sharks in six and the Winnipeg Jets in five. The Capitals blocked 26 shots in Game 3, including 15 in the first period. He developed into a teammate on and off the ice that helped propel the Capitals to another division title despite losing forwards Justin Williams, Marcus Johansson and Daniel Winnik, and defensemen Nate Schmidt, Karl Alzner and Kevin Shattenkirk last summer. A lot of guys make mistakes in a hockey game, they don't end up in the back of the net.

If luck has escaped the Golden Knights, the opposite has happened to the Capitals.

Wilson then converted a give-and-go pass from Kuznetsov to make it 2-0. We have to step up and play the right way. The Golden Knights have had a great deal of success by scoring the first goal in most games and getting outstanding goaltending from Fleury.

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