DOWN 3-1, GOLDEN KNIGHTS, FLEURY NEED TO HOLD THE FORT

The Washington Capitals have history on their side Thursday in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals at T-Mobile Arena. 

 MARC-ANDRE FLEURY NEEDS TO COOL OFF THE CAPS

MARC-ANDRE FLEURY NEEDS TO COOL OFF THE CAPS

No team since 1942 has come back from a three-games-to-one deficit in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Golden Knights will have to put together together a comeback for the ages to make history.

Here are some hot takes  from hockey experts:

KNIGHTS NEED A SPARK: “Although they possess the shots on goal advantage in the series, the Golden Knights are in need of a spark, and it could come from new alignments on the ice. The top combination of Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson and Reilly Smith has been quiet through four contests, as they have eight points between them.” – BleacherReport.com

HOLTBY’S HOT: “It remains sort of hard to believe that Braden Holtby began these playoffs on the bench. Remember that? It was, like, another lifetime. Like, he was benched, on the merits. As NBC’s Doc Emrick pointed out, Holtby has faced 169 shots since Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, and given up just eight goals. And one of them came in Game 3, when Holtby accidentally passed the puck directly to Vegas. Maybe he’s just well-rested.” – The Washington Post

DON’T FAULT FLEURY: “It’s not Marc-Andre Fleury’s fault that the Golden Knights are down 3-1 in the series. The Capitals have created far too many prime scoring chances. But Fleury looked near-invincible in the first three rounds, and he has surrendered 16 goals on 103 shots (.845 save percentage) in the final. The Golden Knights need a dominant performance from him.” – USA Today

CAPS FEVER:  “Tickets to the Capital One Arena watch party for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals vanished within minutes Wednesday afternoon, amid massive demand that far outstripped the arena’s capacity. More than 70,000 people went online at 1 p.m. Wednesday in search of free tickets to the Thursday night event, which were claimed ‘almost immediately,’ according to Monumental Sports and Entertainment. Fans were limited to two tickets each, and with skyrocketing demand, online listings soon appeared offering the free tickets for hundreds of dollars.” -- The Washington Post.

PRE-GAME PANIC: “The NHL have announced that Panic! At The Disco will give a special performance ahead of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals (taking place at the Las Vegas T-Mobile Arena) on June 7, airing at 5 p.m. PT on NBC in the U.S. and on CBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.  addition to the performance, Panic! Is also gearing up to release their sixth album “Pray For The Wicked” on June 22. The band is set to kick off their accompanying tour on July 11, which will conclude in Las Vegas as well. Brandon Urie also recently showcased his vocal prowess in an impressive cover of Dua Lipa’s ‘IDGAF’ for BBC Radio 1, which earned twitter praise from the track’s original singer.” –Billboard.com 

HOLTBY’S HOT: It remains sort of hard to believe that Braden Holtby began these playoffs on the bench. As NBC’s Doc Emrick pointed out, Holtby has faced 169 shots since Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, and given up just eight goals. And one of them came in Game 3, when Holtby accidentally passed the puck directly to Vegas.” – The Washington Post Washington’s blocked shot advantage in their three wins is 68-25.

D’S THE DIFFERENCE: “Washington’s blocked shot advantage in their three wins is 68-25.” –USA Today

BAD BLOOD: “A tripping penalty on former Capital Nate Schmidt gave Washington a late power play, and 47 seconds into the man advantage, Brayden McNabb drilled T.J. Oshie into the boards from behind with a cross-check. NBC’s Eddie Olczyk speculated that McNabb’s hit was retaliation for Capitals Coach Barry Trotz sending out his No. 1 power play unit in a three-goal game with less than three minutes to play.” – The Washington Post

 ROAD WARRIORS: The Caps are currently 9-3 away from home this spring.If they get road win No. 10, here are the teams they’ll join, per NBC’s NHL research team:

  • 2012 Kings. They went 10-1, won the Cup.
  • 2004 Flames. They went 10-4, lost in Game 7 to Tampa Bay.
  • 2000 Devils. They went 10-2, won the Cup.
  • 1995 Devils. They went 10-1, won the Cup.