Capitals draw 14,485 for Game 2 watch party of Stanley Cup Final

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Evgeny Kuznetsov was on the ice for Washington Capitals practice Friday, 36 hours after leaving Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights clutching his left arm in pain.

The attendance number is the best of the team's three watch parties at the arena - with seats, again, filled in the 400 level. Capital One Arena in downtown Washington was packed with red-clad fans watching Game 2 on the videoboards. "Fleury's been pretty good all year".

The phrase suited the mayhem of the first three rounds, when the Golden Knights stampeded through the Western Conference bracket, clobbering two inferior teams in San Jose and Los Angeles and a third, Winnipeg, which was exhausted from a bruising seven-game series against Nashville.

Coming two nights after Washington's Tom Wilson had caught Vegas' playoff scoring leader Jonathan Marchessault with a blindside hit, you knew that the Golden Knights would be seeking retribution.

As a questioner aptly deadpanned to Washington coach Barry Trotz prior to Game 2 Wednesday, "It turns out there's a lot to do in this town on the off nights".

At Vegas Sportsbooks around the city, they are stuck between wanting the team to win and not wanting them to win because a Stanley Cup in Vegas means a massive loss for them. The response was even more impressive in the USA, where Game 1 drew a 3.72 rating (an average audience of about about 4.5 million viewers) - up 7% from a year ago - and 3.788 million watched Game 2, which was up 16% from last year and 47% from 2016 when Pittsburgh played San Jose. "This is why we play the game, to get to the final".

So we've got that covered, at the least it's interference.

Marc-Andre Fleury has prevented Vegas from losing consecutive games so far this postseason. Date night costs you nothing'. "They want to support their team just like we want to support our team".

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The series shifts to Washington for Games 3 and 4.

NOTES: The Golden Knights have scored the opening goal in the first period of all nine of their postseason home games.

Around Las Vegas, the hype and anticipation is real as fans are hoping their team can hoist the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history, and in their inaugural season no less.

Capitals forward Jay Beagle said it was the "save of a lifetime".

Under is 4-0-1 in Golden Knights last 5 road games and under is 4-0-1 in Golden Knights last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than.600 and Golden Knights are 1-4 in their last 5 Saturday games. "Bottom line is we were right in that game I think, it was right there for us to grab, we just came short". Two games ago, he was the no-brainer Conn Smythe front-runner, but he booted one on Monday and vastly overcommitted to Lars Eller's tying goal Wednesday.

"Right now, we're just one moment at a time, just trying to enjoy the ride, take in the views and be our best selves". "This time of the year you need things like that, if you're going to move on".

"(That hit) galvanized us as a group", Trotz said.

It was a game-saving stop with mere minutes remaining in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final, and while Braden Holtby could have avoided the whole thing altogether, it appears the hockey gods were on his side.