Graphic by Vendenergy

The Washington Capitals took a 2-1 game lead in the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on the Caps’ home ice.

Here are snippets from the experts how the game played out: “The Caps' defense did a good job of stifling the Golden Knights' offensive attack  and seriously limited their chances. Vegas only had 22 shots on net and had a load of trouble getting high-danger chances in the slot.”

--Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Ed Graney, on Twitter: “Wow ... Shea Theodore..skating like you might at the Christmas rink with some hot coco... Totally unaware, forces Fleury to come out and we are 4-on-4 after penalty...” “The play of defenseman Theodore was certainly problematic. This, of course, comes with the caveat that the 22-year-old had a terrific season for the Golden Knights, and he has been mostly strong these playoffs. But he wasn't too sharp in Games 2 and 3; the former Anaheim Duck was involved in a series of blunders. From a broken stick in Game 3 that led to the Kuznetsov goal – ‘That's one I'd like to have back,’ Theodore said -- to a whiffed clearing attempt that led to a turnover and directly set up Smith-Pelly's tally, Theodore said: ‘I just have to be much better than I was.’ And we agree.” Alex Ovechkin opened the scoring and capped a frenetic sequence with a diving, backhanded shot off a rebound early in the second period. The goal was Ovechkin’s 14th of the playoffs, matching John Druce’s 28-year-old franchise postseason record, and it gave the Capitals their first lead at home in a Stanley Cup finals game. The Capitals improved to 11-4 during the playoffs when scoring first. Ovechkin’s 60 career playoff goals are fourth-most among active players.”

--USA Today: “Everyone in the greater Washington area had an understanding of how important this game was in determining how this series will play out, but Ovechkin’s understanding was deeper than anyone’s. He’s been with the Capitals since 2005 and he’s never before been beyond the second round until this season. This is the first time the Capitals have ever won a Stanley Cup Final game at home, and Ovechkin’s enthusiasm is apparent. You wonder if he's hurting the teammates he bear hugs.” “Braden Holtby looks great, but the Caps defense deserves a lot more credit. Washington’s defensive pairing of John Carlson and Michal Kempny have been on the ice for just one scoring chance against at even strength and Brooks Orpik and Christian Djoos have been on for two. Matt Niskanen and Dmitry Orlov have allowed 12 chances, but just three from the slot or the crease, which is solid considering they skate against the Golden Knight’s top pair of William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith a majority of the time.” “Some perspective ahead of tonight's contest... Washington has waited 20 years for the Capitals to host another Stanley Cup Final, while the Golden Knights are only 100 games old.” “Vegas had no answer for Alex Ovechkin. Washington’s superstar and captain ended the night with one goal and 10 shot attempts. He also had a takeaway and two blocked shots. His line, featuring Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson, tallied 12 shot attempts and nine scoring chances at even strength against the Golden Knights’ top pair of Nate Schmidt and Brayden McNabb. Washington’s defense also stepped up big. The unit made sure netminder Braden Holtby had to fend off just seven high-danger chances at even strength and only two more when Vegas had a power play.”

--David Schoen, Las Vegas Review-Journal: “All season, the Capitals played ‘Whatever It Takes’by Imagine Dragons before every home game. But after the Las Vegas-based band performed the song prior to Game 2, the folks at Capital One Arena staged a mini boycott and didn’t play it Saturday.”