Last night was not your typical Golden Knights playoff game.
Game 1 between Vegas and Washington was the first game in Stanley Cup Final history that featured four lead changes.
— Elias Sports Bureau (@EliasSports) May 29, 2018
In the Western Conference final, there were no lead changes and Vegas was ahead in the series for 193 minutes. In Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Golden Knights maintained a lead for only 22:50 minutes.
Here’s the breakdown of the four lead changes in Game 1:
Game Tied: (0:00-7:15)
VGK Lead: (7:15-14:41)
Game Tied: (14:41-15:23)
WSH Lead: (15:23-18:19)
Game Tied: (18:19-23:21)
VGK Lead: (23:21-28:29)
Game Tied: (28:29-41:10)
WSH Lead: (41:10-42:41)
Game Tied: (42:41-49:44)
VGK Lead: (49:44-60:00)
The Golden Knights played a lot more time with the lead than Washington did in Game 1. The Capitals had a hard time holding the lead, which led to the scoring being tied for a majority of the night despite the fact that 10 goals were scored.VGK Time In Lead: (22:50)
Game Tied: (32:43)
Washington Time In Lead: (4:27)
Despite blowing multiple leads earlier in the game, Vegas kept to form as they were able to protect their lead for more than ten minutes down the stretch. However, the Golden Knights hadn’t swapped goals like they did in Game 1 against Washington, since their second-round series against San Jose.
The turnovers are something you never want to give too many of. We had a few too many in the 1st period. We cleaned it up a little bit. They are a team that has a lot of skills offensively and they have the ability to jump. When you lose the puck you can see five guys jumping up offensively. -Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
Coming in, Washington wasn’t much different. The Caps protected early leads against Tampa in three of their four Eastern Conference finals victories. It’s clear, the Capitals don’t want to play from behind, or trade chances.
You don’t want to be trading chances…there were ten goals tonight. No teams wants to be trading chances back and fourth because it’s up in the air on who will score those goals. -Brett Connolly, Washington Forward
Vegas is now 11-1 in the playoffs when they score the game’s first goal. However, they blew nearly as many leads in this game as they have all postseason long.
In the end though, the only thing that matters is winning first, not scoring first because every Stanley Cup Championship team since 2012 won Game 1. Take that in.
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