Vegas Golden Knights Will Play Washington Capitals In Stanley Cup Final

The Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals will duke it out for hockey’s holy grail.

After a few days off from practice, the Vegas Golden Knights are back to work. With their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final already punched, the expansion franchise looks refreshed and ready for their final challenge. But Marc-Andre Fleury and James Neal didn’t participate in practice today.

And before anybody panics, it was only an optional skate so exhale Golden Knights nation. It’s important to get as much rest as possible especially at this time of the year. However, the Golden Knights didn’t even know who they were practicing for in the Cup Final.

With the Eastern Conference Finals all tied up at three games apiece, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals battled in game seven to decide who plays Vegas for the Cup. It was a back and forth series that had a ton of physicality and skill mixed in. After days of waiting, the Golden Knights finally found out who they’ll be playing for hockey’s holy grail.

The Capitals defeated the Lightning in Tampa Bay by a score of 4-0. Andre Burakovsky notched two goals, and Braden Holtby pitched a 29 save shutout in game seven. And that means we’re down to the final two.

Alex Ovechkin finally has his chance to win his first Stanley Cup in his career. The one thing that’s standing in his way is a team that’s in their inaugural season. Who would’ve ever thought that?

Golden Knights general manager George McPhee was the former Capitals boss and built much of the Capitals current roster. He was held responsible for drafting players like Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, John Carlson, Holtby and more. McPhee has a chance to get back at his former club with a cup victory.

Speaking of McPhee, the Vegas general manager had the opportunity to select a player from all 30 NHL teams including the Capitals. McPhee hit one out of the park when they chose defenseman, Nate Schmidt. Not many people knew about Schmidt due to the lack of playing time in Washington, but the Golden Knights front office staff saw potential.

Not only has Schmidt developed into a great blueliner but he has also evolved into the team’s top defenseman. The St. Cloud, Minnesota native scored five goals, added 31 assists, 36 points and a +19 rating in 76 regular season games played. In the playoffs, the 26-year old averaged 24:53 of TOI in 15 games.

And then there’s the rival factor, as Fleury will be public enemy number one in Washington. When the Sorel, Quebec native was in Pittsburgh, he was one of the main reasons why the Capitals postseason got cut short in the second round in 2016. Fleury also beat Washington back in 2009 during another Cup run with the Penguins.

The 33-year old goaltender looks to repeat history one more time as he goes for ring number four and his first with the Golden Knights. His Stanley Cup playoff numbers have been outstanding in 2018. He has posted a 12-3 record with a 1.68 GAA and a .947 SV% in 15 postseason games.

Here’s an updated look at the Stanley Cup Final schedule:

Vegas Golden Knights (P1) vs. Washington Capitals (M1)

Monday, May 28, 5 PM PT: Capitals @ Golden Knights | NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports

Wednesday, May 30, 5 PM PT: Capitals @ Golden Knights | NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVA Sports

Saturday, June 2, 5 PM PT: Golden Knights @ Capitals | NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVA Sports

Monday, June 4, 5 PM PT: Golden Knights @ Capitals | NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports

*Thursday, June 7, 5 PM PT: Capitals @ Golden Knights | NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports

*Sunday, June 10, 5 PM PT: Golden Knights @ Capitals | NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports

*Wednesday, June 13, 5 PM PT: Capitals @ Golden Knights | NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports

* – if necessary

All in all, this is going to be a series for the ages. The Vegas Golden Knights will have home ice in the Stanley Cup Final, and they must take advantage with the home crowd on their side against an excellent road team. Catch puck drop for game one of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday at 5 PM PT at T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip at 5 PM PT.