Aussie one win from Stanley Cup NHL title

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Neal finally got Vegas on the board at 5:43 of the third period.

The Capitals superstar put his team ahead in the second period after a scoreless first frame.

Holtby has given up four goals in the last three games. It's done with. It's not the first time it's happened. The Capitals' power play was once again lethal, going 3-for-5 on the night, while Vegas went 0-for-4.

The Washington Capitals keep winning, and now they are on the brink of securing their first Stanley Cup championship.

First, Capitals forward T.J. Oshie laid a reverse hit on Colin Miller that led to a scoring chance for Michael Kempny. The leading scorer in the playoffs, Evgeny Kuznetsov, has been battling an upper-body injury but was able to be on the ice in Game 3 for a goal and an assist to secure Washington the lead.

Washington has blown 3-1 playoffs series leads five times in its last 12 attempts, but there were few signs of such trouble in Game 4.

Needing deals as RFAs will be winger Tom Wilson, who is in for a substantial raise from his $2-million salary, as well as winger Devante Smith-Pelly, centre Travis Boyd, defenceman Madison Bowey and Philipp Grubauer, Washington's goalie of the future.

Connolly added another power-play goal for Washington at 18:51.

"It's the Stanley Cup Final", Ovechkin said. He knows all about the plastic rats in Florida, the octopi in Detroit and the catfish in Nashville. One thing I've learned over my years is it's not necessarily the heat but the humidity.

Merritt bought a crab from a local restaurant before Game 3 and brought it into the arena with hope.

Not surprisingly, the Golden Knights sputtered the rest of the way Monday night in a 6-2 defeat that put them on the brink of elimination. Many Russian hockey fans devotedly watch the Stanley Cup playoffs each year, either on cable television or by paying a fee and streaming games on NHL.com.

With the red-clad crowd still on their feet, Smith-Pelly delivered a knockout punch when he pounced on a loose puck to the left of Fleury and roofed it with 21 seconds remaining in the first period.

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I have enough central defenders and defending midfield players the same. There's also a place for comeback kid Jamie Maclaren . You have to have pressure to perform.

They also got to cheer during a TV timeout. Humboldt Broncos forward Kaleb Dahlgren was also on hand.

He knows the ins and outs of both teams, and has studied all the matchups and trends that will determine the outcome, including one angle you're not even considering.

Poised to give the Vegas Golden Knights the opening goal in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, the veteran leader of this upstart expansion team hit the right post.

Brayden McNabb's floater from the point hit the post before Ryan Carpenter chimed one off the crossbar on the follow up as Vegas failed to connect on another man advantage despite some sustained pressure. There is nearly a poetic element to it all, that it was Neal the former Penguin, and that they're beating Marc-Andre Fleury now, the man who stood in their way for so many of those sorry springs. Expect the Golden Knights to lay it all on the line as a result.

Vegas nearly opened the scoring but sent one shot off the side of the net, while another hit the post with Capitals goalie Braden Holtby out of position on both efforts.

"The Stick" was wielded by Holtby, who used it late in Game 2 to snuff a seemingly sure goal by Tuch in a 3-2 Washington victory.

It has been a full team effort as the Capitals forwards have made the Knights work hard just to get the puck in the offensive zone before filtering them to spots where the defenders can more easily manage the threat.

Brooks Orpik went 824 days between goals before scoring the victor in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The Golden Knights could use a little luck.

Ovechkin dived to score his 14th goal of the playoffs and raised his arms in joy when Kuznetsov beat Marc-Andre Fleury and broke out his signature bird celebration in a second period the two Russians will long remember.

The atmosphere was electric before the game. Putin regularly plays on his "Legends of Hockey" team in exhibition games, alongside former NHL stars such as Bure and Fetisov.

"Everyone's starting to write us off", added teammate David Perron.

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