Tonight is the night.
The #Cupin1 mantra will officially be put to the test at 5 p.m. PT as the Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals drop the puck in the all-out battle for Lord Stanley’s Cup. This round is for all the marbles, all 34.5 pounds of them, and the storylines are plentiful. But what happens when an unstoppable force hits an immovable object? We shall see...
Neither team is expected to make any lineup adjustments since both teams are coming off strong finishes in the Conference Finals. Vegas won four straight after losing Game 1 in Winnipeg, and the Capitals fought back from a 3-2 deficit after taking a 2-0 series lead, eventually shutting out Tampa Bay in back-to-back games to close out the series in seven games.
Since Vegas finished higher in the regular-season standings, the Golden Knights will have home-ice advantage for the third time in the second season. Both teams are 3-0 in elimination games this postseason, and both teams have closed out three series on the road.
Here are the projected lines for Vegas and Washington:
Golden Knights lineup
Jonathan Marchessault — William Karlsson — Reilly Smith
Alex Tuch — Erik Haula — James Neal
David Perron — Cody Eakin — Ryan Carpenter
Tomas Nosek — Pierre-Edouard Bellemare — Ryan Reaves
Brayden McNabb — Nate Schmidt
Shea Theodore — Deryk Engelland
Luca Sbisa — Colin Miller
Alex Ovechkin (#8) — Evgeny Kuznetsov (#92) — Tom Wilson (#43)
Jakub Vrana (#13) — Nicklas Backstrom (#19) — T.J. Oshie (#77)
Andre Burakovsky (#65) — Lars Eller (#20) — Brett Connolly (#10)
Chandler Stephenson (#18) — Jay Beagle (#83) — Devante Smith-Pelly (#25)
Dmitry Orlov (#9) — Matt Niskanen (#2)
Michal Kempny (#6) — John Carlson (#74)
Brooks Orpik (#44) — Christian Djoos (#29)
Braden Holtby (#70)
Philipp Grubauer (#31)
Let’s do this!