The hardest part about ranking these is that there will be some disagreements with the way I ordered it. Plus I had to leave out six games, and that’s always tough deciding which ones make the cut and which ones don’t. But this was a no-brainer. It’s a save that every Caps fan should have framed. If they don’t make a statue of it outside Capital One Arena, a lot of fans will be disappointed. Anyway, let’s look back on the save that gave the Capitals their first Stanley Cup Finals game victory which led to the coveted trophy.
Date: May 30, 2018
Result: 3-2 CAPS
After dropping Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals in a back-and-fourth contest by a final of 6-4, the Washington Capitals needed to knot the series to avoid falling in an 0-2 hole. The team responded with a big win that had it all, an Alex Ovechkin goal, a scare, an early deficit, a goal from an unlikely hero and a tiger and the save of the century.
The Capitals gave up a goal early on to James Neal. Aside from the one-goal deficit, the Caps were pit against more adversity when Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb laid out a hit center-ice along the boards on Evgeny Kuznetsov. The leading scorer of the whole playoffs left the game.
Nearly ten minutes later, Lars Eller scored another clutch goal to tie the game at one off of a sweet feed from Michal Kempny at 17:27. Another clutch gene for Eller was he moved up to the second line after Kuznetsov was injured.
Alex Ovechkin scored the first Stanley Cup Finals goal of his career to start the second stanza.
Then Brooks Orpik scored his first goal since February 26, 2016. To put that in perspective, I was a senior at Radford the last time Orpik scored a goal. I remember where I was too: My apartment.
Then myself and Caps fans everywhere had a cardiac arrest when Alex Tuch had a great look to tie the game. After a shot at the boards the puck trickled in a weird way and an opportunity to tie it fell on the lap of Tuch. Despite the open net and Holtby out of place, Holtby quickly lodged to his right. He stuck out his paddle and stopped the puck. That my friends, was the difference and it led to the Caps winning the Cup.
It set the celebrations around the DMV but there was also more work to be done. And the city couldn’t wait to welcome the team with open arms and rock the red for the world to see.
What will #4 be?! Tune in next week to find out!
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