The 2018 Stanley Cup officially begins on Memorial Day Monday (May 28), and the two teams battling it out for Lord Stanley’s Cup weren’t on many experts' radar when the season began. Nevertheless, when the Las Vegas Golden Knights take on the Washington Capitals to decide this season's champion, no matter which team wins, it is going to be a feel-good story in terms of the NHL.

Caps try to break through

The Washington Capitals and their fans are starving for a Stanley Cup championship. The Caps have had several teams in their checkered history that had the look of a champion, yet they have only suffered playoff heartbreak over and over in their 43 years as a franchise.

This year the Capitals are once again four wins away from hoisting the Stanley Cup, but they will have to defeat one of the hottest teams in the league in the Golden Knights to do so. It won't be easy. For the Capitals to win this series, Alex Ovechkin will once again have to be on his game. Ovechkin has been nothing short of magnificent so far in the postseason. In 19 games, the star winger has 12 goals and 10 assists for a total of 22 points. If he can keep up that pace, Washington has a great chance to win this series.

Vegas has home ice

According to the Sporting News, Sin City will host Game 1 of the series on Monday, May 28, giving the Golden Knights the home-ice advantage in the series.

Game 7, if the series goes that far, would be played on June 13. So, can an expansion team win a world championship? The Knights can. It is hard to believe that at this time last year, the Golden Knights had yet to select their roster. The official special draft for the Knights was yet to take place and Las Vegas oddsmakers were offering opening odds ranging from 250-1 to 500-1 for Vegas to win the Stanley Cup.

The odds seemed fitting at the time, especially considering no sports team in history has ever won a championship in its first year of existence. Led by former Pittsburgh Penguins star Marc-Andre Fleury, the Golden Knights have gone from the biggest underdogs on the Vegas odds board to the favorites in the NHL Finals. You just know every guy on the Vegas squad wants to stick it to the teams that left them unprotected in the special draft, especially Fleury.

Odds, schedule, pick has the Knights listed at -140 to win the series, with the comeback on Washington at +120. The Capitals are strong, but I just can't see how you can wager against the Golden Knights. It feels like destiny that Las Vegas has lady luck on their side. Washington is a great team, but the Cup will reside in the West this season.

Pick - Las Vegas in 6

Below is a look at the entire Stanley Cup schedule, and how fans can watch every game live.

  • Game 1: May 28 at Las Vegas, 8 PM ET (NBC, CBC, Sportsnet, fuboTV -- NBC Sports Extra,
  • Game 2: May 30 at Las Vegas, 8 PM ET
  • Game 3: June 2 at Washington, 8 PM ET
  • Game 4: June 4 at Washington, 8 PM ET
  • *Game 5: June 7 at Las Vegas, 8 PM ET
  • *Game 6: June 10 at Washington, 8 PM ET
  • *Game 7: June 13 at Las Vegas, 8 PM ET