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Alex Ovechkin leads the Washington Capitals into the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights

They don't deserve to join the 2010-11 Canucks and 2015-16 Sharks as a team that went from "can't win the big one", to "we're in the Finals", to "we fell short of our championship goal once again".

Jon Tritsch spoke with the coaches about what lead up to this fantastic season. If we said we'd be this far into the playoffs or even make the playoffs, we were lying.

"I just love the game".

Don't take that to mean Washington is going to come out and embarrass Vegas in Game 1, however. Washington needed 19 (12-7).

Vegas Golden Knights host Mark Shunock (left) interviews defenceman Nate Schmidt after the team's Game 4 win over the Winnipeg Jets on May 18. The Golden Knights are looking to walk away with Lord Stanley in their inaugural season while the Caps could take home their first championship in 44 years. Game 1 in Monday night. "All of us want to prove our old teams wrong for letting us go last offseason". He brought Ovechkin, Backstrom, goaltender Braden Holtby and 10 other current players to Washington before being fired in 2014, then joined the Vegas organisation in 2016.

"Ovi's been on a mission", Caps coach Barry Trotz said.

NHL Stanley Cup Final 2018 picks: Vegas Golden Knights vs. Washington Capitals preview | Predictions, odds
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Today, the Knights are set to open the Stanley Cup Final as the favourites with home-ice advantage against the Washington Capitals. You get the best of both sides - a Capitals team that finally overcame their deepest fear, Pittsburgh, and beat Tampa Bay to earn their spot in the Final.

The Caps are 8-2 on the road in the 2018 playoffs, outscoring their opponents, 36-20, in those 10 games.

And it was Engelland who was chosen on a team with no captains to accept the trophy for winning the Western Conference finals from National Hockey League deputy commissioner Bill Daly. After years of serving as part of the bedrock on Pittsburgh's roster, helping the Penguins capture three Stanley Cups, he was cast off last offseason for the younger Matt Murray. Washington averaged 3.12 goals in the regular season and 3.47 in the playoffs, while Vegas averaged 3.27 in the regular season and 2.87 in the playoffs. In the latter game, Reilly Smith had a pair of goals to key the win.

"If people can come for the curling and can squeeze in a game with the Golden Knights at the same time, on that same trip, I think that becomes very attractive to a Canadian sports fan".

"I'm very happy to be associated with the staff that I'm associated with", Kisio said.

The series also matches Vegas general manager George McPhee against the team he built. The expansion franchise, behind the play of Marc-Andre Fleury, William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and David Perron, will look to continue its magical run and expand on its unprecedented success as a first-year franchise. Two teams, the best in their respective conferences and divisions, will square off against one another with the sport's greatest prize on the line. Enjoy the opportunity and the moment and the stage you're on, but really realizing that once you get between the boards, it's the exact same game as you played the first three rounds.