NHL Playoffs 2018: Ovechkin, Kuznetsov power Capitals' Game 3 win over Golden Knights, score, highlights

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Ovi. Kuzy. And an insurance goal from D-S-P. The Washington Capitals are just two wins from hoisting the Stanley Cup, thanks to star efforts from Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov, who pumped in the first two goals in a 3-1 Game 3 win for the Caps in front of a raucous home crowd Saturday night at Capital One Arena. 

Ovechkin broke a scoreless tie in the first minute of the second period during a frenzied scramble in front of the Vegas net. When the puck squirted out to him on the left side of the net, Ovechkin dove to knock it past Marc-Andre Fleury for his 14th goal of the postseason, tying John Druce (1990) for the most in a franchise history in a single playoff. 

Kuznetsov, who was questionable before the game with an upper-body injury, made it 2-0 Capitals when he scored off an odd-man rush in the 13th minute of the second.    


The Golden Knights made it interesting in the third period when Braden Holtby made a critical mistake trying to clear the puck from behind the net and Tomas Nosek was there off a deflection to put the puck into an empty net. 

But Devante Smith-Pelly put the Caps back on top by two just a little more than 10 minutes later on a wrist shot, and for another game, Washington held off the Golden Knights late to preserve a win. After getting their first win in a Stanley Cup Final game in 44 years of existence in Game 2, now the Caps have one on home ice. 

It took one of the greatest saves in NHL postseason history from Braden Holtby to preserve the 3-2 win in Game 2 and send the series back to Washington for Game 3.  Ovechkin and the Comeback Caps, who've overcome years of playoff disappointments with this magical march to the Stanley Cup Final, are carrying the hopes of a city that hasn't seen one of its major pro teams play for a championship since 1998, the last time the Capitals were in the Stanley Cup Final, where they were swept by the Detroit Red Wings.

To relive all of the highlights from Saturday night's game, check out the live blog below. Then scroll down for the Stanley Cup Final schedule, how to watch information and our staff predictions. If the live blog isn't working, click here

How to watch

TV: NBC, NBCS
Stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Follow: CBS Sports App

(All times ET)

Playoff bracket

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CBSSports.com illustration by Mike Meredith

Predictions

Lightning-Capitals


Blackburn: I've been picking against the Golden Knights every step of the way and they keep proving me wrong. My head says to take Vegas here -- they've got the hottest goaltender and I love their ability to suffocate teams with speed and pressure on the puck -- but my heart says Capitals. Washington has a wealth of weapons and I just can't bring myself to root against Ovi finally getting his Cup. Capitals in 7.

Benjamin: It all comes down to this. Vegas has defied all the odds -- literally, all of them -- thanks to its supreme balance and supreme outings from Marc-Andre Fleury. And if anyone's destined to cap off such a historic run in surreal fashion, it's the Golden Knights. But speaking of destiny, these Capitals won't die, and Alex Ovechkin is grinding his way toward something that's escaped him for far too long. Braden Holtby is on point, which goes a long way, even though this thing should be close. Capitals in 6.

Skiver: I've been wrestling with this decision since the Final were set. The expansion Golden Knights or the Capitals, who have seemingly broken the shackles of their playoff curse. This series is about as evenly matched as you could hope for, but I can't pick against Marc-Andre Fleury right now. He's been so good this postseason, and the Golden Knights have been so dominant, it's hard to imagine them losing. The Capitals have been an amazing story this postseason, but when it comes down to a toss-up -- even one involving Alex Ovechkin -- I can't pick against the better net-minder. Golden Knights in 7.  

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