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LAS VEGAS (AP) – The Vegas Golden Knights’ incredible inaugural season isn’t slowing down in the Stanley Cup Final.
Tomas Nosek scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period, and the expansion Golden Knights opened an improbable Final with a thrilling 6-4 victory over the Washington Capitals on Monday night.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves in an occasionally shaky performance, but the three-time Stanley Cup winner’s new teammates carried the goalie who has so often carried them with a relentless outburst of offense.
The Vegas Golden Knights killed their first penalty with a little help from the post behind Fleury as Washington’s John Carlson drew iron on a shot late in the second period. Moments later, Fleury gave the post to his right a friendly tap with his right glove to give thanks after his team was penalized for having too many men on the ice.
The Eastern Conference champion Capitals hadn’t given up this many goals in 29 games since March 18, but they hadn’t seen anything like this charmed run by the upstart Knights.
Since the final went to a best-of-seven format in 1939, the winner of Game 1 has gone on to hoist the Cup the last six years and 61 of the last 78 times.
Boston is the last team to bounce back from losing Game 1 to win an NHL title.
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