After a 6-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday, the Washington Capitals are one win away from earning their first Stanley Cup in the 44-year history of the franchise. Despite dropping Game 1, the Caps have won the last three to take a 3-1 series lead. Here’s how Washington can get the final win.
Ignore the bait
At the end of Game 4, Vegas was baiting Washington into penalties by “gooning it up.” While the score was already decided, look for that game plan to continue in Game 5.
Stellar Special Teams
The Capitals special teams were an important factor in their win in Game 4. The power play went three-for-five and the penalty kill went a perfect four-for-four. Special teams have played a big part in this series and they should again in Game 5. There may not be as many special teams opportunities, but when there are, Washington will need to be stellar once again.
Marc-Andre Fleury can be beaten
Fleury is the last demon for the Caps to exorcise during this playoff run. The Washington Capitals beat John Tortorella and the Columbus Blue Jackets, the hated Pittsburgh Penguins, and the “Rangers South” in the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Caps have torched Fleury for 16 goals this series, beating him mainly on east-west plays. Expect for that to continue in Game 5.
Seven of the Capitals’ 16 goals have come from players not named Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tom Wilson, Nicklas Backstrom, TJ Oshie or John Carlson. For the Caps to get the much coveted 16th win, they will need their depth to come up strong one more time.
They always say that the fourth win is the hardest to get. Washington is going for the ultimate fourth win — the one that will lift them to a championship. With the Capitals owning a 9-3 road record this postseason, there is no reason to think they cannot get it done on the road.