81°F
weather icon Clear

Golden Knights look to write fairy tale ending against Capitals

Updated June 5, 2018 - 7:03 pm

“I’ll tell you a secret. The last act makes a film. Wow them in the end, and you got a hit. You can have flaws, problems, but wow them in the end and you’ve got a hit. Find an ending.” — From the 2002 movie “Adaptation”

The books about the Golden Knights’ fairy tale season are almost ready to go to the publishers. The documentaries are being edited. And somewhere in Hollywood, producers probably started casting the movie.

All that’s missing is the ending.

The Knights defied the odds throughout their unprecedented inaugural season, but now face their biggest challenge in the form of a 3-1 deficit to the Washington Capitals in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final.

Only one team — the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs — has come back from a 3-1 hole in the finals.

But if the Knights have taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected.

“Nobody’s quitting,” goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said. “We’ve got to focus on one period at a time, start from there. We won four in a row against Winnipeg, which was a pretty good team. Relax, play our game, see where that takes us.”

The Knights flew home Tuesday morning and were forced to come to terms with their 6-2 loss in Game 4, a scoreline that Knights coach Gerard Gallant thought slightly flattered Washington.

After struggling to solve the Capitals’ stingy 1-1-3 neutral-zone trap in Game 3, the Knights had more shot attempts (71-41), scoring chances (31-21) and high-danger chances (13-8) than Washington in Monday’s loss, according to NaturalStatTrick.com.

“I thought last night’s game we played real hard, we played real well,” Gallant said during a conference call with reporters Tuesday. “Probably with a couple of breaks, we could have been up 2-0 early in that first period. Again, I think we have to work hard and play the way we played last night to maybe get some of those breaks.

“That was a step in the right direction last night. Hopefully, we can start the next game off in our building and be ready to go again.”

The Knights showed their frustration late in the third period after defenseman Colin Miller appeared to take an elbow to the face from Capitals forward T.J. Oshie moments before Michal Kempny scored to put Washington up 5-2 with 6:21 left.

Gallant was incensed that there was no penalty called, but at least one replay showed Miller’s face made contact with the back of Oshie’s helmet, not his elbow, when they collided. Gallant said Miller suffered a broken nose on the play.

Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb was penalized for cross-checking Oshie into the boards with 2:16 remaining, which almost led to a full-on donnybrook. Defenseman Deryk Engelland and Oshie were assessed 10-minute misconducts, and forward Ryan Reaves picked up a 10-minute misconduct after jawing with the Capitals’ Devante Smith-Pelly in the final minute.

The Knights finished with a season-high 32 minutes in penalties, and Washington finished 3-for-5 on the power play in Game 4.

“Obviously, the three power-play goals against us really hurt us,” Gallant said. “I thought we battled back in the hockey game and got to 4-2. That fifth goal, which nobody liked, thought there should be a penalty against them.”

Washington made an adjustment on its power play for Game 4, stationing defenseman John Carlson at the left faceoff circle rather than Alex Ovechkin.

Carlson scored on a one-timer in the second period after a cross-ice pass from Conn Smythe Trophy candidate Evgeny Kuznetsov.

Washington has picked apart the Knights defense throughout the series with backdoor passes that have left Fleury stranded.

“A lot of those goals were east-west passes,” Gallant said. “We’ve got to cover the guy without the puck. … You’ve got to give your goalie a chance to make those saves. On those plays, there was no chance for him to make those saves.”

Washington has blown more 3-1 series leads (five) than any other franchise, the most recent instance coming in the 2015 Eastern Conference semifinal against the New York Rangers.

But the Knights are not thinking past Game 5, which is at 5 p.m. Thursday at T-Mobile Arena.

“I think we’ve got to come out and start the way we started (Monday) night,” Gallant said. “We’ve got to be ready to play. We’re going to play in our building. The pressure’s off us. We’re going to work hard and have some fun. We’ll see what happens.”

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Golden Knights Videos
Vegas Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz on the Golden Edge Podcast
Review-Journal reporters Ben Gotz and David Schoen talk with Golden Knights president Kerry Bubolz about his experiences with LeBron James, the team's new initiatives, a possible MLS expansion team and more.
George McPhee Conference Call on Nikita Gusev trade - VIDEO
Golden Knights President of Operations George McPhee answers questions on a conference call about the teams most recent trade of Nikita Gusev to the New Jersey Devils.
Vegas Golden Knight's Deryk Engelland Happy to Re-Sign - Video
Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland is happy to stay in Las Vegas after signing a one-year deal with the team.
Golden Aces hold Tryouts For 2019-2020 Season - Video
The Golden Aces hold tryouts for the 2019-2020 season for the Golden Knights.
Golden Knight's owner Bill Foley's House for sale in The Ridges - Real Estate Millions
Vegas Golden Knights, Fleury Make Day for Critically Ill Teenager in ESPN “My Wish” - Video
A 13-year-old Las Vegas boy who has faced Hodgkin’s lymphoma is treated to a special day by the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights in a new ESPN “My Wish” Series feature debuting Wednesday, July 17, on SportsCenter. In the feature, Doron Coldwell spends a day with the team and even gets an opportunity to replace his favorite player, three-time Stanley Cup winner Marc-Andre Fleury, in the net.
Golden Knights Sell "Battle Worn Armor" To Season Ticket Holders - Video
The Golden Knights sell their "battle worn" apparel throughout both of the teams seasons including pucks, sticks, helmets and skates.
Summerlin 4th of July Parade - VIDEO
On July 4th Summerlin will be hosting the 25th annual Summerlin Council Patriotic Parade, an event that has grown massively over the years
Golden Knights McPhee talks on the first day of NHL free agency - VIDEO
Golden Knights incoming president of operations George McPhee addresses the media as free agency starts.
Golden Knights Trade Colin Miller as Development Camp ends - VIDEO
George McPhee speaks to the media following the end of the Golden Knights development camp.
Golden Knights Development Camp Day 4 - VIDEO
Nic Hague stands out at day 4 of Golden Knights development camp.
Golden Knights Hold First Scrimmage of Development Camp - Video
The first of three scrimmages was held at the 2019 Golden Knights Development Camp. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writers Adam Hill and David Schoen discuss what stood out to them.
Golden Knights George McPhee Discusses Erik Haula Trade - Video
A day after it was announced that Erik Haula had been traded to the Carolina Hurricanes, incoming President of Hockey Operations George McPhee spoke to the media discussing the move.
Golden Knights Trade Erik Haula - Video
The Golden Knights have traded Erik Haula to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for prospect Nicolas Roy. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writer Adam Hill discuss the trade.
Golden Knights Coaches Looking for Veterans to Step Up in Development Camp - Video
Day two of the 2019 Golden Knights Development Camp is in the books. Director of Player Development Wil Nichol says his staff is looking for the veterans of the camp to step up and be leaders to the younger guys, while at the same time doing their best to impress the coaching staff.
Golden Knights Draft Player with Strong Hockey Bloodlines - Video
The Golden Knights drafted Mason Primeau in the 5th round of the 2019 NHL Draft. Primeau is no stranger to professional hockey, both his dad (Wayne Primeau) and his uncle (Keith Primeau) played in the NHL.
Golden Knights Kelly McCrimmon Talks Development Camp - VIDEO
Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon talks about what he expects from everyone at development camp on their first day.
Golden Knights Dylan Coghlan On Veteran Experience - VIDEO
Golden Knights defenseman Dylan Coghlan talks about his veteran experience playing in Chicago and development camp.
Golden Knights President George McPhee talks about Williams Karlsson's 8 year deal
George McPhee presser highlights June 25, 2019.
Golden Knights Center William Karlsson speaks to media about 8 year contract
William Karlsson presser highlights June 25, 2019.
Golden Knights Development Camp at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada
For the third consecutive year, Vegas Golden Knights Development Camp participants participated in a special community event at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
2019 NHL Awards Highlight Video
The 2019 NHL Awards took place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Wednesday night. Though Vegas Golden Knights forward Mark Stone came close to winning the best defensive forward trophy, St. Louis Blues center Ryan O' Reilly took home the coveted Frank Selke Trophy. Jason Zucker, who was raised in Las Vegas and plays for the Minnesota Wild, accepted the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership and humanitarianism. Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov took home the NHL's MVP Award. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gary Bettman discusses NHL rule changes - VIDEO
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the media after Wednesday’s Board of Governor’s meeting.
Golden Knights' Mark Stone up for Selke Trophy
Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone is a finalist for the Selke Trophy. The award goes to the best defensive forward in the NHL. Stone led the league in takeaways last season with 122. His competition is St. Louis Blues center Ryan O'Reilly... And Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron. Stone will find out if he wins Wednesday at the NHL Awards.
Vegas Golden Knights announce preseason schedule
The Golden Knights announced their preseason schedule Tuesday, as well as the date of their rookie camp and training camp.
Mark Stone and Stanley Cup visit MGM Grand
Mark Stone took photos and signed autographs for Golden Knights fans at the MGM Grand on Sunday. The Stanley Cup also made its way into the MGM Grand Main Lobby. The most revered trophy in hockey is on display to celebrate the upcoming 2019 NHL awards at the Mandalay Bay Center on June 19th. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights, Raiders Unite for Charity Softball Game - Video Highlights
Golden Knights and Raiders players alike were more than excited to join together in a charity softball game to raise money for pediatric cancer. Players from both teams cannot wait for the Raiders to arrive in Las Vegas so more joint events can take place.
Golden Knights and Raiders Raise over $100K in Charity Softball Game - Video Highlights
In the first-ever Battle For Vegas Charity Softball Game, the Golden Knights and Raiders raised $136,000 for the Tyler Robinson Foundation. At the end of the nights, it was the Raiders that raised the Battle For Vegas trophy, after beating the Golden Knights 20-16. Take a look at some of the highlights from the game!
Golden Knights' Reilly Smith Ready to Battle for Vegas - Video
Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith is ready to Battle For Vegas in a charity softball game that will feature various celebrity athletes, including teammates Jonathan Marchessault, Ryan Reaves and Erik Haula. Smith's team will face off against former Raider Marcus Allen and his teammates, including Vontaze Burfict, Josh Jacobs and Maurice Hurst. The charity softball game is set to take place on Saturday, June 15th at the Las Vegas Ballpark.
Golden Knights Will Have a New Home in Henderson - Video
The Golden Knights are saying goodbye to the Henderson Convention Center and hello to the team's new hockey facility that will be located in the second largest city in Nevada. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST