Capitals Defeat Golden Knights, 6-2, to Take Commanding 3-1 Series Lead
“The execution from the Capitals’ perspective was concise and skillful.” – Keith Jones
“Those are the ones that keep you up at night and maybe even weeks.” – Eddie Olczyk on James Neal’s Missed Goal in First Period
STAMFORD, Conn. – June 4, 2018 – NBC Sports’ exclusive coverage of the Stanley Cup Final continued tonight on NBC, as the Washington Capitals defeated the Vegas Golden Knights, 6-2, in Game 4 from Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., to move within one game of winning the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history.
Six-time Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member and analyst Eddie Olczyk, and Emmy Award-winning ‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst Pierre McGuire had the call from Washington. This marks the 12th consecutive year that Emrick, Olczyk and McGuire have combined to call the Stanley Cup Final for NBC Sports.
Pre-game coverage began on NBCSN at 6 p.m. ET with a two-hour edition of NHL Live. Host Liam McHugh anchored pre-game, intermission and post-game coverage on-site, alongside analysts and former players Mike Milbury and Keith Jones. In addition, Kathryn Tappen and Paul Burmeister hosted pre-game and post-game coverage from outside sets in Washington, capturing the scene amongst the fans alongside analysts and former players Jeremy Roenick, Brian Boucher, and Anson Carter.
NHL Live included:
- NASCAR icon and NBC Sports’ newest on-air contributor Dale Earnhardt Jr. on-set with Tappen and Roenick;
- A feature on Golden Knights forward James Neal;
- A hometown segment on Washington’s John Carlson;
- An interview with Kaleb Dahlgren, a member of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team who survived the team’s tragic bus crash in April;
- An on-ice demo by Roenick and Carter with the Washington Nationals’ Racing Presidents mascots;
- McGuire’s pre-game interview with the Capitals’ Matt Niskanen;
- A close look at Alex Ovechkin’s pre-game meal;
- Interviews with Quinn Hughes (University of Michigan) and Brady Tkachuk (Boston University), two highly-rated American hockey prospects in this year’s NHL Draft;
- Burmeister’s interview with Hockey Hall of Fame member Mike Gartner.
Coverage shifted inside the arena at 7:30 p.m. ET with McHugh, Milbury and Jones. Mike Tirico hosted Game 4 coverage from inside Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. Earnhardt also joined Tirico for an interview during the first intermission.
Jones on both teams’ execution: “The execution from the Capitals’ perspective was concise and skillful. And for Vegas, they didn’t get to that until the third period.”
Milbury on what he expects from Vegas on Thursday: “They didn’t roll over. I don’t expect them to roll over in Game 5. That’s been there m.o. all year and I don’t think it will change.”
Jones on what Vegas needs in the third period: “A goal. They need to find a way to build some confidence in this series. It’s gone away in the last two games and there is no question they’ve had their chances. The only goal they’ve had was in the warm-up by Fleury.”
Milbury on what he would preach to the Golden Knights despite trailing 4-0: “Be disruptive, do something. Skate, shoot, do something. But don’t lie down over this one.”
Emrick on whether Vegas will be rewarded for missed opportunities: “If you believe that the hockey gods – those guys with long, flowy robes and stitched faces and missing teeth – if you believe they have a sense of humor and they even things out, the Golden Knights have to feel like they’re owed a couple.”
Jones on the difference between the two teams in the first period: “The difference is confidence and lacking confidence. Vegas (is) clearly lacking confidence. They missed three prime opportunities to score, Washington took full advantage of their opportunities. Skillful play by (Ovechkin).”
Olczyk on Neal’s missed shot: “Those are the ones that keep you up at night and maybe even weeks, when you miss an opportunity like that and you’re a goal-scorer like James Neal.”
Olczyk on Washington’s three-goal period: “Hard to believe the Capitals have a three-nothing lead after the start for Vegas. One opportunity on the power-play (for Vegas), next thing you know, (Capitals) are up by three.”
Added Emrick: “Three goals on the last seven shots after Vegas hit two goal posts. Do you believe in omens? Can luck change? The course of games can.”
Pre-Game on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET)
Olczyk on Ovechkin’s production in this series: “He’s been doing it all. He’s been physical, he’s been picking his spots, he’s been selective, he’s selling out, and he’s blocking shots in all areas of the ice. And when he has that energy he gets to those areas where he can be a difference-maker.”
NHL Live on NBCSN (6 – 8 p.m. ET)
Roenick on what he saw from Vegas in Game 3: “They have to find a way to get back to their bread and butter, and that’s their speed. It’s the first time this year that I’ve really seen them sluggish, really tired … They’ve been resilient all year. I would expect them to have their best game not only of the playoffs but possibly of the year tonight.”
Boucher on how Vegas has defended Washington’s power-play: “The one thing Vegas has done a good job at is taking away Ovechkin and also taking away the slot guy in T.J. Oshie.”
Milbury on the importance of Game 4 for the Golden Knights: “I don’t think there’s any question that Vegas is going to be all-in on this one. This is a huge game for them. A two-game hole after Game 4 would be pretty insurmountable.”
Roenick on the production of Vegas’ first line: “If this line doesn’t score goals, this is going to be a very quick series.”
Gartner on what makes Capitals fans different: “They’ve waited a long time. I was with the New York Rangers when they waited 50 years for a championship. And those people can feel it and sense it and taste it. I can see it around here in Washington. I’ve been here for the last day and a half and you can feel it around the city. Everywhere you go, there is a real buzz for the Washington Capitals.”
Milbury on Vegas’ keys to success in Game 4: “They’ve got to find their legs … they somehow have to get jump back in their game … it’s been a big change coming here from Game 2 to Game 3.”
NBC Sports’ coverage of Game 5 begins Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Pre-game coverage begins on NBCSN with a special two-hour edition of NHL Live at 6 p.m. ET.
– NBC SPORTS–