Evgeny Kuznetsov (0-4—4), T.J. Oshie (1-2—3) and Nicklas Backstrom (0-3—3) combined for 1-9—10 to propel the Capitals to a 3-1 series lead and within one victory of their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Teams that hold a 3-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Final own an all-time series record of 32-1 (97.0%) since the Final went to the best-of-seven format in 1939. The lone exception came in 1942, when the Maple Leafs rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Red Wings in seven games.
KUZNETSOV MATCHES STANLEY CUP FINAL RECORD, REACHES 30 POINTS
Forward Evgeny Kuznetsov collected four assists to match a single-game Stanley Cup Final record, achieved by 11 other players. The last: Colorado’s Joe Sakic in Game 2 of the 1996 Final vs. FLA (8-1 W).
* Kuznetsov’s four assists also equaled a Capitals’ single-game playoff record, achieved by Scott Stevens in Game 6 of the 1988 Patrick Division Final at NJD (7-2 W) and Andrei Nikolishin in Game 3 of the 1998 Eastern Conference Final at BUF (4-3 OT W).
* Kuznetsov, who leads the playoffs with 12-19—31 (23 GP), became the fifth NHL player since 1997 to register 30 or more points in a single postseason:
* Kuznetsov (Chelyabinsk, Russia), who owns a five-point lead over teammate Alex Ovechkin (14-12—26), is seeking to become the third Russian-born player to lead the NHL in postseason scoring during the League’s modern era (since 1943-44). The only two thus far: Detroit’s Sergei Fedorov (Pskov, Russia) in 1995 and Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin (Magnitogorsk, Russia) in 2009 and 2017.
OSHIE, BACKSTROM ALSO IGNITE WASHINGTON’S OFFENSE
T.J. Oshie (1-2—3) and Nicklas Backstrom (0-3—3) each posted three points to help the Capitals score six goals for the fourth time this postseason (23 GP).
* Oshie (8-13—21) and Backstrom (5-17—22) became the third and fourth Capitals players to register 20 points this season, following Evgeny Kuznetsov (12-19—31) and Alex Ovechkin (14-12—26). Only 16 other teams have featured four players with 20-plus points in a single postseason, including the 2017 Stanley Cup champion Penguins and 2016 runner-up Sharks.
* John Carlson (5-14—19) and Lars Eller (6-11—17) sit one and three points shy, respectively, of 20. Only two NHL teams have featured six players with 20-plus points in a single postseason: the 1983 Islanders, who captured their fourth straight Stanley Cup, and the 1985 Oilers, who won the second of four Stanley Cups in five years.
CAPITALS CONTINUE HISTORIC POWER-PLAY SUCCESS
The Capitals went 3-for-5 on the power play, raising their conversion rate to 29.6% this postseason (21-for-71). Among teams with at least 60 opportunities, only two have converted at a higher rate during a single playoff year since the League officially began tracking power-play percentage in 1977-78:
CARLSON MATCHES FRANCHISE RECORD
John Carlson scored in the second period to boost his career playoff totals (all w/ WSH) to 18-36—54 (99 GP), matching Calle Johansson (12-42—54 in 95 GP) for the most postseason points by a defenseman in Capitals history.
Carlson also owns the franchise playoff record for goals by a blueliner (18) and ranks third in assists by a defenseman (36), behind Scott Stevens (44) and Johansson (42).
SMITH-PELLY AGAIN FINDS TWINE
Forward Devante Smith-Pelly posted the winning goal, his second tally in as many games and sixth of the playoffs (23 GP) after scoring seven times during the regular season (75 GP). Smith-Pelly has registered one other winning goal this postseason, the series-clincher in Game 6 of the First Round at CBJ.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Capitals scored three goals in the opening period of a playoff game for just the 17th time in franchise history (274 GP). They last did so in Game 4 of the 2017 First Round at TOR.
GOLDEN KNIGHTS SUFFER RARE THIRD STRAIGHT DEFEAT
The Golden Knights suffered a third straight loss for just the fourth time in 101 games (regular season and playoffs). The other three instances, all during the regular season: Oct. 30 – Nov. 2 (0-3-0), Nov. 28 – Dec. 1 (0-3-0) and Feb. 26 – March 2 (0-2-1). They have not lost four consecutive games at any point in 2017-18.