The Capitals got a big win on Wednesday, evening the Stanley Cup final with the Golden Knights and taking a split decision back to Washington, but they suffered a potentially big loss in the process.
The series against the Golden Knights, tied 1-1 after the Caps' 3-2 win in Las Vegas, shifts to Washington now.
The attendance number is the best of the team's three watch parties at the arena - with seats, again, filled in the 400 level. Not expected for Games 3 and 4 at Capital One Arena is the pregame spectacle that only Vegas can produce, but the Golden Knights' play on the ice should be similar, yet simpler, than their play in Sin City.
The Knights have scored first in all nine of their playoff home games, with each occurring in the first period and six coming in the first eight minutes.
The Russian centre, who leads the overall National Hockey League playoff scoring race with 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists), skated off Wednesday night and went straight to the locker-room favouring his left arm after the crushing first-period collision that saw him tumble to the ice along the boards.
What went their way was Orpik, a veteran defenceman whose last goal came on February 16, 2016, scoring what turned out to be the victor before Holtby robbed Alex Tuch with a desperation paddle save after the puck took a weird bounce off the glass.
Andre Burakovsky chipped in with two assists of his own as the Capitals won their first-ever game in a Stanley Cup final.More news: Female Shoura Council member hails Saudi measure criminalizing sexual harassment
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Vegas got a 5-on-3 man advantage for 1:09 when Tom Wilson took an interference penalty and Eller was whistled for hooking early in the third, but Holtby, who allowed five goals on 33 shots in Game 1 after posting back-to-back shutouts to close out the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference final, managed to hold the fort.
It was 98 degrees at game time in Las Vegas. Over is 4-1 in Capitals last 5 vs. "It is always loud and look forward to playing the game".
The Capitals opened the playoffs with two losses to Columbus before roaring back to win four straight. "Through the first two games, I just didn't feel like (we were) ourselves, whether it was on the bench or on the ice". "The Knights, in my mind, really put the exclamation point that we're the sports capital of the world, not only what they've done on the ice in this historic season but how they brought the community together".
Some of those gathered were holding the hottest ticket in town.
The Golden Knights' logo was worked into hairdos of fans willing to make the commitment while others opted to have their face painted in black and gold.
As far as goaltending goes, we've been pretty spoiled this spring - especially when it comes to Fleury's blue-paint heroics for the Golden Knights. (Wednesday) night they didn't have the offensive outburst they usually have. Ryan Reaves scored a tying goal Monday night after appearing to get away with cross-checking Capitals defenseman John Carlson.