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FSM Essential Recap: Golden Knights vs Capitals – Game 16

Franchise Sports Media

Vegas Golden Knights (12-3-1) vs Washington Capitals (8-4-2)

 

The Washington Capitals defeated the Golden Knights 3-0 Monday night in Washington to start VGK’s 5-game road trip.

It is game 15 of the NHL season, and the Golden Knights took on the SanJose Sharks. 

Golden Knights vs Capitals | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Stephanie Scarbrough/AP

It was the first of five games on Vegas‘ road trip, which also will include stops in Montreal, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Dallas. Last year, the Golden Knights went 5-0-0 on their Eastern Conference road trip, which had also begun in Washington.

Vegas entered Monday’s game 12-2-1 on the year in first place in the Western Conference with 25 points, although teams were hot on the trail with games in hand.

After losing two straight in regulation, the Golden Knights bounced back with a 5-0 win against the San Jose Sharks on Friday.

Monday night’s game was expected to be more competitive, however, as the Capitals were third in the Metropolitan Division with a 7-4-2 record through 13 games.

Washington was dealing with a ton of injuries. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper was day-to-day, and the club was without rearguards Trevor van Riemsdyk and Martin Fehervary in addition to forward Anthony Mantha. Nicklas Backstrom had taken time away from hockey due to ongoing injury concerns, and both Max Pacioretty and Joel Edmundson had yet to make their Capitals debuts after being acquired in the offseason.

For Vegas, Chandler Stephenson and Nicolas Roy had shed their non-contact jerseys but did not play. Nicolas Hague had not skated with the team, and might be a little further away from a return, though head coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t rule out the possibility of all of them playing soon.

The Capitals had gone 6-1-1 in their last eight games after getting off to a 1-3-1 start. Despite the recent success, the Capitals have had trouble holding leads and playing for a full 60 minutes. But, like the Golden Knights, the Caps had found ways to win.

The Golden Knights faced off against the San Jose Sharks on Friday.

Could the Golden Knights start their 5-game road trip with a win?

The Golden Knights vs Sharks game saw VGK victorious over the Sharks.

Golden Knights vs Capitals | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Stephanie Scarbrough/AP

It was not the most active beginning to a game, as the period started off slow for both teams. The Golden Knights had had a three-day layoff, while the Capitals had two days off of their own. As the period went on, the Golden Knights improved and had multiple breakaway opportunities.

During the first period, Keegan Kolesar didn’t like the hit by the Capitals Dylan McIlrath on VGK’s Jonas Rondbjerg. It was good to see Kolesar standing up for his teammates, but McIlrath got the better of the fight between the two.

The only goal of the second period was by Washington’s Dylan Strome with just over three minutes remaining. VGK’s Ben Hutton pinched, creating a two-on-one chance for the Caps, and Strome was able to snipe the puck right by Golden Knights goalie Logan Thompson.

Paul Cotter was assessed a five-minute major and a match penalty for an illegal check to the head of Evgeny Kuznetsov just over five minutes into the second period. The Capitals were unable to capitalize on the penalty, and then the Golden Knights generated multiple scoring chances of their own, including a William Karlsson breakaway to no avail.

Michael Amadio had a pair of good looks, but Charlie Lindgren kept the shutout alive through the game’s first two periods.

The Golden Knights were able to get shots early and often in the third period. It seemed like they had the puck in the offensive zone for most of the period, but were unable to capitalize. The CapitalsConnor McMichael scored an empty net goal to make the score 2-0. Just 16 seconds later Beck Malenstyn scored to finish off the Capitals‘ 3-0 win over the Golden Knights.

The final score in the Golden Knights vs Sharks was 5-0, Vegas.

The Golden Knights now start their five-game road trip on Tuesday night in Washington. They drop the puck at 4:00 p.m.

 

– Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe on all social media: @JoeArrigoFSM

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