With the series even at a game apiece, the NHL Stanley Cup finals headed to Washington DC for two games on Capitals ice. No one will ever confuse the glitz of the Vegas pre-games with Washington’s, but the nation’s capital had its own style of pregame shows planned, including a free concert on the steps of the National Portrait Gallery featuring Sting and Shaggy. Fall Out Boy is also to be featured with the second home game and Wheel master Pat Sajak was on hand for the festivities, announcing the line-ups for game 3. The storylines that were being watched included the unknown playing status of Evgeny Kuznetsov, who was injured in Game 2.

He was to be a game-time decision. Also, in question, was the Capitals ability to finally harness a home ice advantage, as they have been less than stellar on home ice during the playoffs thus far.

The puck bounces the Capitals way

Right from the start of the match, Capital One Arena, which has not proven to be an advantage for Washington, had a positive vibe for the Capitals. Both fans and Vegas players now knew that Capitals leading scorer, Evgeny Kuznetsov was back and playing. The party-like atmosphere was more elevated than ever before for a Capitals home game.

The play during the scoreless first period was fierce, but even the “puck luck” seemed to be favoring Washington. Multiple blasting shots from an attacking Vegas appeared to have Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby beat, only to bounce off the pipes and away from scoring danger.

Capitals take flight in period 2

Washington superstar Alex Ovechkin played a complete Game 3 and opened the scoring in the second period putting the Capitals up 1-0.

Evgeny Kuznetsov added an assist and a goal to add to the Capitals lead heading into the third period.

The Golden Knights finally showed some life in the third period with a goal by Tomas Nosek pulling Vegas to within one.

That would be as close as Vegas could get, however, as Devante Smith-Pelly scored with six minutes remaining, to put the Capitals up for good, 3-1.

As far as takeaways, this is the first time during the playoffs that Vegas has lost two consecutive games. The Capitals defense and goaltending also looked very much on point, limiting the usually high scoring Vegas’s chances on goal, and only allowing 1 through.

The streets of Washington DC erupted in celebration after the game and crowds basked in the Capitals first home Stanley Cup Finals win in franchise history. Things will really get crazy in DC if the Capitals manage to win Game 4 and tip the odds of winning the cup in their favor.