Things prove the same and different between Knights and Capitals

Updated December 5, 2018 - 10:54 am

It was the same and it wasn’t, meaning Alex Ovechkin was in the house but not lifting the Stanley Cup above his head while gliding around T-Mobile Arena in search of celebratory cocktails to come, meaning the Capitals and their star were engaging the Golden Knights, but not with any sort of championship at stake.

Pride, however, is a different matter.

The last time we saw these teams in this building, Washington was winning Game 5 of a best-of-seven final, proving itself the better side while ending the dream season of a Knights team that defied all odds in reaching such a moment as an expansion side.

This was instead a Tuesday night in early December, one of 82 games over the course of six months and yet carrying a bit more meaning for the Knights, who beat the Capitals 5-3 in the most dramatic of ways before a deafening 18,275.

Nate Schmidt, the former Capital who was left unprotected by Washington in the expansion draft, the defenseman suspended for the first 20 games, scored his first goal of 2018-19 via a power play at 18:36 of the third to make it 4-3.

He then added an empty-net score as the final seconds ticked away.

“These are the types of games you want to be part of,” said Schmidt. “This is why you play hockey. Over so many games, you have to find ways to get yourself up and this was one of them. You could tell from the first shift with a couple of big hits. It was an intense, high speed, high octane game.”

It was the same and it wasn’t.

Meaning while everything wasn’t on the line, things were highly emotional and Tom Wilson again found himself in the middle of it all.

Until, that is, he found himself being helped off the ice.

The Knights have dominated their division since beginning play last year, going 27-8-4 against such foes, including 7-2-1 this season. But things have been a tougher go when stepping outside those comfortable blue lines of the Pacific, a fact emphasized by losing to the Capitals in such a manner last June.

You’re darn right Tuesday meant more to the Knights than just another game. It should have.

If you like pace and chirping and bone-rattling hits more powerful than anything except the music inside T-Mobile, you loved the most impressive win this season, by far the most entertaining and impassioned 60 minutes.

I’m just not so sure how much Wilson loved it.

He is the one whose mug shot likely hangs on the wall of the league’s Department of Player Safety, a repeat offender who has served multiple suspensions and owns the sort of mucky reputation that comes with many of his hits.

Wilson is a dirty player unless he’s on your team, and there are few across the league who wouldn’t want him wearing their jersey. He’s that good.

He went to the locker room at 15:42 of the second period, having been on the receiving end of a punishing hit from forward Ryan Reaves, who received a 5-minute major for interference and a game misconduct.

Such penalty was deserved. The hit by Reaves was late, much like one Wilson laid on forward Jonathan Marchessault in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Reaves and Wilson had earlier exchanged hits. They were being watched closely. It was just a matter of time.

PK is on fire

But while the sidebar that was an MMA match between the two pushed the crowd to an ear-splitting level — there is no question it was the loudest T-Mobile has been this season —the Knights won behind what is quickly becoming a terrific penalty kill.

It has been six games (and 19 penalties) since an opposing power play found net, and that included the Knights killing all of the 5-minute major Tuesday.

It was the same and it wasn’t.

Ovechkin had a goal and Wilson was involved in some shenanigans and Reaves took matters into his own hands.

The Capitals are ahead of the Knights right now, ahead of most everyone.

But for a Tuesday night in early December, the Knights proved superior.

“(Beforehand), I was just thinking about treating it like another game and worry about getting the two points and improve in the standings more than trying to get them back,” said goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. “I can’t lie, though. This is a great feeling. It was almost storybook, just a few months too late.”

It was the same and it wasn’t.

Mostly, it was a hell of a hockey game.

Contact columnist Ed Graney at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

Golden Knights Videos
Golden Knights Break Losing Streak At Home - VIDEO
The Golden Knights break their home losing streak and beat the Nashville Predators 5-1 with Subban at net.
Golden Knights snap losing streak, defeat Nashville 5-1
The Vegas Golden Knights snapped a 5-game losing skid when they defeated the Nashville Predators at home, 5-1. Head coach Gerard Gallant and players discuss the win at the T-Mobile Arena.
Golden Edge: The Golden Knights Lose Their Fifth Straight at Home
For the first time in franchise history, the Vegas Golden Knights lost their fifth straight game at home. This time they fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs, 6 to 3. Video produced by Heidi Fang
Golden Knights on what they need to end losing streak - VIDEO
After suffering their fifth consecutive home loss, the Vegas Golden Knights talk about what went wrong against the Toronto Maple Leafs and what the team needs to end its losing streak. Video produced by Heidi Fang
Gallant Talks Improving Knights Game After Fourth Straight Home Loss - VIDEO
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks to media after practice about what the team needs to improve on in order to win at home against the Maple Leafs.
Golden Knights ready to celebrate Valentine's Day
Even though they have a game on Feb. 14, Marc-Andre Fleury and Ryan Reaves are ready to spoil the ones they love this Valentine's Day.
Gallant Ramps Up Golden Knights Practice - VIDEO
Gerard Gallant ramps up practice for the Golden Knights as they have suffered four straight losses at home.
Golden Knights Fall to Coyotes for Fourth Straight Home Loss - Video
The Golden Knights lose their fourth straight game at home with a 5-2 loss against the Coyotes. After the game, head coach Gerard Gallant spoke with players after the game in the locker room. Golden Knights reporters Adam Hill and Ben Gotz go over the loss and what the players said after the game.
Gallant delivers scathing response to media following the team's loss - VIDEO
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant was furious following the team's loss to the Arizona Coyotes and gave a scathing response to a question asked during his postgame news conference. The loss marks the team's fourth straight loss at home, which ties the franchise record.
Golden Edge Mailbag - February 12, 2019 - VIDEO
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill answer all your burning VGK questions and comments here on the Golden Edge Mailbag
Gerard Gallant Talks About Trade Deadline - VIDEO
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant responds to a question about the trade deadline and what it means for the team.
Golden Knights Practice Before Game With Coyotes - VIDEO
The Golden Knights skate on the ice a day before their game with the Arizona Coyotes while the trade deadline comes closer. Golden Knights reporters Ben Gotz and David Schoen go over what to expect from the Knights before trade deadline and William Carrier's return to the ice.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights lose their third straight at home
Adam Hill and Ben Gotz recap the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 loss to the Blue Jackets and talk about the team losing their third straight home game.
Gallant, Golden Knights players reflect on their loss to the Blue Jackets
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant says what went wrong against the Columbus Blue Jackets and the players assess their performances and the team's mental state at this point in the season.
Gallant talks about losing streak
Gerard Gallant talks about breaking a four-game losing streak. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on finishing road trip
Gerard Gallant talks about finishing the road trip on a high note. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gerard Gallant talks about the win over Detroit
Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about the 4-3 win over Detroit on Feb. 7, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights End Road Trip With A Win Over Red Wings, 4-3 - VIDEO
The Golden Knights ended the team's four-game road trip with a win in Detroit, defeating the Red Wings 4-3.
Gallant on Karlsson
Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about William Karlsson. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights Break Four Game Losing Streak - VIDEO
The Golden Knights win with a comeback victory and Tuch scoring the only goal during a shootout. Golden Knights reporters David Schoen and Adam Hill break down the game including Ryan Carpenter being escorted off the ice after hitting his head.
Gallant on breaking the losing streak
Gerard Gallant talks about breaking a four-game losing streak agains one the NHL's best teams. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on Valentin Zykov's goal
Gerard Gallant talks about Valentin Zykov's goal against Tampa Bay on Feb. 5, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-journal)
Gallant on penalty killing
Gerard Gallant talks about the Golden Knights' penalty killing against Tampa Bay on Feb. 5, 2019. (Davis Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Edge Mailbag: Defense Problems? - VIDEO
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill answer all the burning questions about the Golden Knights.
Gerard Gallant on facing Tampa Bay
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on facing the Tampa Bay Lightning. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gerard Gallant on Valentin Zykov
Golden Knight coach Gerard Gallant talks about Valentin Zykov. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on next game after loss to Panthers
Coach Gerard Gallant talks to reporters after Knights loss to Panthers. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on big plays hurting Knights in loss to Panthers
Coach Gerard Gallant talks to reporters after Knights loss to Panthers. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on breakaway goals in loss to Panthers
Coach Gerard Gallant speaks to media after Knights loss to Panthers. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on loss to Panthers
Coach Gerard Gallent speaks about Knights loss to Panthers. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Maxime Lagace talks about the loss to Carolina
Golden Knights goaltender Maxime Lagace talks about the 5-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 1, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant talks about the loss to Carolina
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about the 5-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 1, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights' prospect Cody Glass talks about his development
Golden Knights' prospect Cody Glass talks about his development and working to gain a spot in the NHL. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights' prospect Cody Glass talks about the NHL
Golden Knights' prospect Cody Glass talks about pushing for a roster spot in the NHL. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ryan Reaves On Fighting In Hockey - VIDEO
Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves goes over how he fights in hockey and how he scouts out his opponents before games.
Golden Edge Mailbag: Did Bellemare Bite P.K. Subban? - VIDEO
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill answer all the burning questions about the Golden Knights including if Bellemare bit P.K. Subban's hand.
Fleury on boos at NHL All-Star game
Fleury at NHL All-Star game (pokecheck)
Fleury about scooter at NHL All-Star game
scooter incident
Fleury on NHL All-Star game atmosphere
NHL Commissioner Talks Player Tracking Success with Golden Knights - VIDEO
Ahead of the NHL All-Star game, commissioner Gary Bettman discusses how the league implemented player tracking during two Golden Knights games and how the Knights have been a positive impact on hockey.
Subban says Bellemare knows he bit him
Vegas Golden Knights assistant head coach Mike Kelly, right wing Ryan Reaves and Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban tell their sides of the alleged finger biting incident that occurred between Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Subban late in the second period of their game at the T-Mobile Arena.
Golden Knights Fall To Predators, Bellemare Bites P.K. Subban? - VIDEO
The Golden Knights lose 2-1 against the Predators and suffer two straight losses at home and a bizarre end to a second period between Bellemare and P.K. Subban. Golden Knights reporters Ben Gotz and Adam Hill go over the loss and Bellemare's alleged bite.
Golden Knights recap their loss to the Predators
The Vegas Golden Knights speak on their most recent loss to the Nashville Predators, the team's slump in momentum and their mindset as they head into the NHL All-Star break.
Real Estate Millions: Jonathan Marchessault
Vegas Golden Knight Jonathan Marchessault, shows off his Summerlin home.
HyperX Esports Arena hosts "VGK Twitch" event
Vegas Golden Knights players Alex Tuch, Colin Miller, Nate Schmidt and Erik Haula attended the “VGK Twitch” event at HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor hotel-casino on Tuesday. The players battled fans and each other at Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and the members of the Blue Man Group made an appearance as well.
Golden Edge Mailbag: Nick Holden
Golden Knights defenseman Nick Holden takes your questions on our Golden Edge mailbag!
Golden Knights' McPhee, Gallant on trading Brad Hunt to the Wild
Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee and head coach Gerard Gallant addressed trading Brad Hunt to the Minnesota Wild at a news conference on Tuesday.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Fall for the Third Time in Five Games
The Vegas Golden Knights lose to the Minnesota Wild 4-2. Dave Schoen, Adam Hill, and Ben Gotz report from T-Mobile Arena.
Golden Knights after their loss to the Wild
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant says the team needs to be tougher in certain areas and the players assess their loss to the Minnesota Wild.
Gallant: The Wild had our number last year
Head coach Gerard Gallant says the Minnesota Wild had the Golden Knights number last year. Tuch talks about the playoff hopes of the Golden Knights and Schmidt chimes in on team's tenacity.
Golden Edge recap: Golden Knights vs. Penguins
Review-Journal reporters Ben Gotz and David Schoen discuss the Golden Knights’ 7-3 win over the Penguins at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday.
Gerard Gallant talks new tech
The Golden Knights coach discussed the new iPad technology expected to be available to coaches after the All-Star break.
Gerard Gallant talks after practice Jan. 18
The Golden Knights coach talked about the team’s upcoming three-game stretch, injuries and the power play.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Put up Record Amount Shots but Fall Short - VIDEO
The Vegas Golden Knights lose to the Winnipeg Jets 4-1. In the second period the Knights put up a record number of shots on goal but still go back to the locker room down 2-0. David Schoen reports from Winnipeg.
Gallant: Knights played a 'good game' vs. Winnipeg
Gerard Gallant says the Knights played a good game in the loss to Winnipeg on Jan. 15, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on Golden Knights power play
Gerard Gallant talks about the Golden Knight power play vs. Winnipeg on Jan. 15, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gerard Gallant on loss to Winnipeg
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about the team's loss to Winnipeg on Jan. 15, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gerard Gallant on Winnipeg
Gerard Gallant talks about continuing to play good hockey in Winnipeg. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on facing Winnipeg
Gerard Gallant talks about trying to take 2 points in Winnipeg. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like