Fourth line leads Golden Knights to thrilling Game 1 win over Capitals

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The defenseman instead is focused on helping his new team, the Golden Knights, against his old team, the Capitals, in the Stanley Cup Final beginning with Game 1 of the best-of-7 series here Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves for the Golden Knights. Deryk Engelland chipped in with two assists. "We went down 4-3, and we never quit".

But Vegas came right back 1:31 later when Reaves, a fourth liner who scored the series clincher in the Western Conference final against the Winnipeg Jets, banged home his second.

Wilson delivered a blindside hit on Jonathan Marchessault with the puck nowhere near the Vegas centre in the immediate aftermath.

McPhee is responsible for acquiring 13 players on the current roster during his 17 years as general manager and also hired longtime friend Brian MacLellan, who became his successor and built the rest of the team.

Smith put the home side in front, only for goals from Carlson and Wilson to give the Caps a 4-3 lead, but Reaves equalised before Nosek claimed a rare double. He cleaned up a loose puck after it bounced around near the net on that play.

Famed ring announcer Michael Buffer then provided his patented "Let's Get Ready To Rumble!" call prior to introducing the starting lineups.

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A drum line with flashing lights pumped up the crowd during breaks, while Canadian-born professional fan Cameron Hughes danced and hurled T-shirts into the stands.

The Knights then honoured military veterans in the first intermission, marking Memorial Day with a rendition of "God Bless America" by seven-time Grammy Award-winner Gladys Knight before an abbreviated Cirque de Soleil performance during a TV timeout in the second period.

After Miller scored the Knights' first goal on a power play and ended Holtby's scoreless streak at almost 167 minutes, Washington calmly surged ahead later in the first period with goals 42 seconds apart. But Brett Connolly tied it up for the Capitals 7:26 later.

Of goalies who have played at least 10 games in one playoff season, Fleury's current mark ranks third-best behind only Johnny Bower's.949 in 1962-63 and Jacques Plante's.950 in 1968-69.

Ryan Reaves tied the game at 4-4 by beating Holtby 2:41 into the final frame.

Despite blowing multiple leads earlier in the game, Vegas kept to form as they were able to protect their lead for more than ten minutes down the stretch. On one bench were the Capitals, who waited a long 20 years to get back to this stage, making their first trip to the finals with the superstar core of captain Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

Las Vegas city officials are embracing Stanley Cup fever by refusing to use capital letters on the city's official Twitter account in a playful shot at the Vegas Golden Knights' opponent: the Washington Capitals. At the defensive end of the ice, during the postseason, they have been very solid so far as they come in ranked 5th in goals allowed, giving up 2.65 gpg, while also ranking 2nd in shots allowed (28.4 spg) and 11th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 25.8% of their chances. Former boxer Floyd Mayweather was in attendance.

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