weather icon Clear

Golden Knights’ top line held in check by Capitals in Game 2

Updated May 31, 2018 - 2:16 am

On a night when Washington’s star player was at his best, the Golden Knights’ best line was unable to respond.

The Capitals didn’t let William Karlsson’s line dominate in Game 2 after Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith had two goals and two assists in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

The Knights’ top unit had a pair of assists on Shea Theodore’s power-play goal late in the second period. But they couldn’t solve goaltender Braden Holtby and the Capitals, led by the inspired play of their captain Alex Ovechkin, who evened the best-of-seven series at 1-1 with a 3-2 win Wednesday at T-Mobile Arena.

Game 3 is 5 p.m. Saturday at Capital One Arena in Washington.

“We didn’t manage the puck well,” Marchessault said. “We had too many turnovers and they were better than us in the second period.

“We did a good job 5-on-5. But it’s on us. We’re not playing our game. As a line, we’re having too many turnovers. When we’re managing the puck and making plays, we make things happen. If we want to have a chance to win we have to be the best line out there and we weren’t that (Wednesday).”

Washington coach Barry Trotz didn’t have the last change as visiting team, but he was able to get better execution against Karlsson’s line Wednesday.

“I thought we did a good job all around,” Trotz said. “We cleaned some things up. They’re a very good line, and I thought we played better defensively overall.”

Gerard Gallant, who did have the last change, wasn’t looking for a certain matchup to help Karlsson’s line gain an edge. He basically threw them out on their next regular shift regardless of who the Capitals had on the ice.

Sometimes it was Nicklas Backstrom’s line. Sometimes it was against Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson, the latter who had taken a run at Marchessault in Game 1 and temporarily knocked him out of the game.

But there were no retaliatory hits from Marchessault or his linemates. They left that to Ryan Reaves, who delivered a blow to Wilson’s face after the whistle midway through the second period and drew a roughing penalty for his actions.

Gallant said the Capitals deserve credit for their improved play against the Knights’ best line from Game 1 to Game 2.

“We came out and played real well the first 12 minutes of the hockey game and I don’t think we played bad overall,” Gallant said. “We had some chances but Washington did a good job against them.”

The line did combine for 14 of the Knights’ 39 shots on Holtby. There were a couple of strong chances, but overall the Capitals didn’t allow Karlsson, Smith and Marchessault to inflict any damage beyond the Theodore power-play goal.

Karlsson had gotten the puck to Smith, who fed Theodore at the point, and with Alex Tuch screening Holtby, Theodore’s wrist shot found its way through a tangle of arms and legs.

Ultimately, the key to containing Karlsson and company was clogging the neutral zone, negating their overall speed as a unit and taking away some of the time and space they’re accustomed to creating for themselves. But Marchessault said he and his teammates will bounce back Saturday in Game 3.

“We have the right attitude,” Marchessault said. “Tomorrow is a new day. We have to reset and get a win over there.”

Contact Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow @stevecarprj 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)