The Capitals seem to be getting enough bounces to make up for nine previous first- or second-round playoff exits in the Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom era — and plenty more disappointments in the previous decades, too.
While Vegas rang several shots off the posts, the Capitals seized just about every opportunity as they have throughout this surprising run. Kuznetsov padded his lead as the playoffs’ leading scorer with primary assists on Oshie’s power-play goal that made it 1-0 and Wilson’s that doubled the lead.
Smith-Pelly, who scored the insurance goal to ice Game 3, kicked the puck from his left skate to his stick and roofed a shot on Marc-Andre Fleury with 20.5 seconds left in the first period. Fleury came into the finals as the Conn Smythe front-runner for playoff M.V.P. honors but looked human again by allowing six goals on 23 shots at a defense that has often left him vulnerable.
Kuznetsov leads all playoff scorers with 31 points, Ovechkin is tied for the goal lead with 14 and Holtby showed again Monday his ability to alter the course of a game.
Holtby got some good fortune from the post on shots by Alex Tuch, Neal and Brayden McNabb. But he also made a handful of big saves early when the Golden Knights came out with a furious approach.