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Stanley Cup Finals Game 2

Washington Capitals vs Vegas Golden Knights

Vegas Golden Knights -150; Total: 5.5

We have Game 2 on tap for tonight, which is coming off the heels of a VERY exciting opening to the series. There were 10 goals in Game 1, which is much, much higher than I ever thought we would see. The Golden Knights have been solid throughout the playoffs on defense, as well as the Capitals who were coming off of two shutouts in the final two games of the Eastern Conference Finals

Game Play Predictions

Vegas Golden Knights

  •  Marc-Andre Fleury let in four goals in Game 1, which is tied for the most he has allowed this postseason, once vs the Sharks, and once vs the Jets.
  •  The Golden Knights had seven different players record a point in Game 1, with two of them having multi-point games.
  • The Knights had five players take three or more shots, a trend which they are continuing from the first two rounds, so expect more of that vs Holtby, who was very bad in Game 1.
  •  Vegas only took one penalty in Game 1, which seriously limits the Capitals scoring upside, since that is where they are most dangerous on offense.

Players to Watch

Marc-Andre Fleury – He simply has to be better than he was in Game 1. Throughout the playoffs, he’s had one or two stumbles, then got right back on track the next game. I’d be surprised if he gives up more than two goals this game.

Jonathan Marchessault – He led the team with five shots while adding one assist. Seeing time on the top forward line and the top power-play unit, he will continue to dominate every shift and be a threat offensively.

Shea Theodore – Theodore led them with ice time for a defenseman, along with seeing time on that top power-play unit. He chipped in with a shot and a blocked shot, showing he is one of their more consistent, and well-rounded defenders.

Reilly Smith – Smith led the team in hits while adding in one goal and one assist. The man legit does anything and everything the team needs, so expect much of the same from him tonight.

Washington Capitals

  • Braden Holtby gave up six goals in Game 1, which was the first time he gave up more than three since Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
  • The Capitals had five players take three or more shots, none of which were Alex Ovechkin.
  • John Carlson led the team with nearly 25 minutes of ice time, saw his shifts on the first power-play while adding one goal.
  • Tom Wilson had nine hits in Game 1, (some questionable), which was four more than the next closest player.

Players to Watch

Alex Ovechkin – He simply needs to get the scoring going and carry this team as he has done in the past. He draws the Vegas top defenders every shift on the ice, but look for him to have an impact on the power-play if they can get one.

Braden Holtby – Just like Fleury, Holtby simply has to be better. Holtby had a very up and down Eastern Conference Finals, but it ended on a super high note with two shutouts. Not saying he needs a shutout here, but some better than giving up six goals.

Tom Wilson – Wilson is a very physical player, we all know that, and he should continue to play that way, just can’t be taking penalties. Giving Vegas extra opportunities to score will result in going back to DC down 0-2.

Pre-Game Props

Q1. WSH records the last shot on goal in the 1st Period. We’ll leave this open until the 2:00 mark.

 I’m going with yes on this one. The Capitals have to come out strong in the first, or they will find themselves trailing in a very tough environment, lots of shots tonight.

Q2. VGK wins the opening faceoff.

I generally always stick with the home team to win the opening faceoff. The building was electric in the first game, and any chance they have to jump on an opposing team, they will take it.

Q3. Both teams score a goal in the 1st period.

I see scoring in the first period, but not nearly as much for the rest of the game. We should be looking at some defensive adjustments in this game to keep the scoring down.

Q4. N. Backstrom (WSH) records a point in the 1st period.

This one is a yes for me. If the Capitals are going to get going early, they need it to come from their top lines and top power-play unit. Big upside for Backstrom being with Ovechkin.

Q5. Both teams combine for 20 or more shots on goal in the 1st period.

Plenty of shots in the first period, but fewer goals. That’s the way I’m looking at it. Teams won’t go as deep into the zones so they don’t get burnt on a fast break, so plenty of shots from the outside.

Q6. Both teams record a hit by the 18:30 mark.

YES! Both teams had a very physical Game 1, so we won’t see that slowing down anytime soon. Big physical start to this game will set the tone for a tougher, lower scoring game.