Trotz, when asked, declined to offer an update.
The usual pre-game pomp at T-Mobile Arena, which includes showgirls lining the glass in the Washington end of the rink during warmups and a knight defeating an opponent in a sword battle on the ice, also featured a performance by Las Vegas band Imagine Dragons and an appearance by UFC legend Randy Couture. There were 10 goals scored in Game 1 and another five in Game 2.
"We were that close", Vegas forward James Neal said.
And while Washington outhit the Golden Knights, 46-39, it was some of Vegas' bigger hits that ignited the Capitals in the second period.
Then, as if the National Hockey League refs knew we were having far too much fun watching this game, they inserted themselves into the game as they are so apt to do.
"I don't know, but the more I am out there the better I feel with the puck, better flow in my game", said Eller, who had a goal and two assists in the win.
"They've basically "caved" it for the last three days", Trotz said to laughter in the T-Mobile Arena interview room before the game against the Vegas Golden Knights.
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"We've had some games on the road where we've had no choice but to win", Washington winger Brett Connolly said.
The team that General Manager George McPhee assembled in the first expansion draft of the salary-cap era capitalized on underappreciated assets, onerous contracts and what he called "unknown surprises" - players who would develop into mainstays. "I think every team is aware of what's going to happen".
"Nick has gone out or Kuzy has been out, Lars has elevated his game and comes up in a more prominent role", Trotz said. Anything they can put a jersey on, they've got a jersey on; statues, buildings, it's insane.
TL;DR - The refs will set a tone in the first minute, gradually move away from it for 58 minutes and then go back to said tone in the final minute.
Washington attacked and evened it shortly afterward with a goal from Eller, who had failed to hit an open net on a rushed play for a potential tying goal late in Game 1. But Caps' fans will - throughout this series and very likely for years to come.
Washington's excellent power play finally got a chance early in the second period, and Ovechkin scored a vintage goal with his powerful shot from a sharp angle. In his mind these sorts of gods did not answer Monday, perhaps too preoccupied watching that breathless track meet like everyone else (including the referees who missed Ryan Reaves's obvious cross-check on the game-winning goal). The Golden Knights have scored the opening goal in the first period of all nine of their postseason home games.
Shea Theodore replied but the Caps held on for a first Stanley Cup game win before hosting games three and four.
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