Wednesday night’s Stanley Cup Final rematch between the Washington Capitals and the Vegas Golden Knights encapsulated much of that five-game series just four months and three days after the Caps lifted the Cup for the first time in franchise history.
Many of those key pieces were back on the ice in familiar roles, including Evgeni Kuznetsov tearing up the scoresheet, Alex Ovechkin sitting pretty in his on-ice office and the Capitals taking care of business on home ice.
The result was much of the same as well, with a 5-2 final in favor of the Capitals, who dressed 18 of the 20 players that featured this past spring in Rivalry Night’s game on Wednesday.
Kuznetsov continued his fine start to the season, scoring his third goal in as many games and adding three helpers. Nicklas Backstrom found his first of the season — the eventual game-winner — and added his fifth assist of the season on Kuznetsov’s power-play goal in the first period. Ovechkin, meanwhile, notched his third and fourth goals of the year as he chases the Rocket Richard once again.
Ovi’s 610th and 611th career goals now have him sitting in sole possession of 17th place on the all-time list, moving past Bobby Hull.
Washington is scoring at will to start the season with 18 goals in three games.
Vegas should take notes.
Run support for the Golden Knights has been poor, with just eight goals now in their first four games.
Paging William Karlsson (who’s yet to score this season).
The Golden Knights’ inability to win after Game 1 of the Cup Final has seemingly followed them into the 2018-19 season. Vegas’ start last season was historic, winning eight of their first nine games in their inaugural year. Their 1-3-0 record so far this season is what many expected to happen last year. Going back to the Cup Final, Vegas has now lost seven of their past eight games.
It’s been a tough go. Just ask Marc-Andre Fleury.
The Golden Knights puck stopper wasn’t his unconscious self in the Final, and he hasn’t returned to that form this season yet, either. He came into the game with a .841 save percentage and allowed four goals on 28 shots in an effort on Wednesday that won’t be bringing that number up too much.
Does the sophomore jinx exist for teams as it does for players? Seems like Golden Knights have been stricken with it so far.