May 31 (UPI) — Lars Eller had a goal and two assists while Braden Holtby stood strong between the pipes in the Washington Capitals’ 3-2 win against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals.
The Capitals evened the series Wednesday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Vegas beat Washington 6-4 in Game 1 on Monday to earn the early lead in the series.
James Neal scored the first goal of the game. The Golden Knights left wing skated down the left flank and sniped a goal over Holtby’s left shoulder 7:58 into regulation.
But Washington tied the game less than 10 minutes later. Eller got that score after Michal Kempny drew defenders over in front of the Vegas goal. Kempny fired a pass over to Eller on his right. The Capitals center hit a rocket one-timer into the empty net behind Marc-Andre Fleury, who still had his eyes on Kempny.
The Capitals gained the lead after Alex Ovechkin netted his 13th score of the Stanley Cup playoffs 5:38 into the second frame. That score came on a power play. Ovechkin hovered to Fleury’s right as Nicklas Backstrom had the puck. The veteran center then hit the puck over to Eller, who found Ovechkin on Fleury’s stick side. Ovechkin flipped a shot into the net for the third score of the contest.
Washington got another goal about four minutes later when Brooks Orpik trailed Eller on a breakaway. Eller then dropped a pass back to Orpik, who deflected a wrist shot past Fleury’s glove side.
Shea Theodore closed the gap to 3-2, putting a score in with 2:13 left in the second frame. Theodore’s score came on a rocket from out near the blue line. The wrist shot found its way between several Capitals defenders before flying by Holtby’s glove to light the lamp.
Holtby held off a vicious Vegas attack in the third period, despite the Golden Knights have a 5-3 power play advantage. He made his biggest save of the game with about two minutes remaining. The Golden Knights were on the attack when Cody Eakin found the puck on the right flank. Eakin went toward goal before firing a pass on the back door to an unmarked Alex Tuch. The Golden Knights right wing tired a one-timer into what looked like a wide open net. But Holtby closed fast, using his stick to stonewall the attempt.
Game 3 at 8 p.m. Saturday at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.