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‘NHL’ Articles

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Hockey Hall of Fame announces 2018 Media Award Recipients

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

TORONTO (June 1, 2018) -  Mark Spector, President of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, and Chuck Kaiton, President of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association, announced today that Larry Brooks will receive the Elmer Ferguson Award for excellence in hockey journalism, and Joe Bowen will receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.

 

Larry Brooks began his hockey writing career as a beat reporter at the New York Post, covering the New York Islanders and New York Rangers in the 1970s.  His insight caught the attention of the New Jersey Devils, who hired the rising star to serve as the team’s vice president of communications and radio color commentator.  After ten years with the Devils, Brooks rejoined the New York Post and began his current streak of 22 straight seasons covering the Rangers.  Since 1995 Brooks has also been the Post’s national NHL columnist.

 

“Over the years Larry Brooks became the most important read on one of the NHL’s most important beats, the New York Rangers,” said Spector. “Beyond his edgy, colorful and on-point coverage of the Rangers, Brooks’ weekly Slap Shots column has become destination copy for readers across the hockey world.”

 

Joe Bowen began his broadcasting career calling hockey games for his hometown Sudbury Wolves. After a short stint with the American Hockey League’s Nova Scotia Voyageurs, Bowen began a 36-year run as the voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Currently teamed with Jim Ralph on TSN 1050 and Sportsnet The Fan 590, Bowen has described the action for more than 3,000 games to some of the world’s most dedicated hockey fans.  As passionate in the community as he is on the airwaves, Bowen has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Leukemia research, and was named an ambassador for the city of Sudbury in 2002.  Bowen also received the George Gross Award as Sports Media Canada’s broadcaster of the year in 2013.

 

“Joe Bowen’s contagious enthusiasm in the booth has entertained Toronto Maple Leafs fans for decades,” said Kaiton. “The voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs is an extremely worthy recipient of the 2018 Foster Hewitt Memorial Award.”

 

Brooks and Bowen will receive their awards at the “Hockey Hall of Fame NHL Media Awards Luncheon” in Toronto on Monday, November 12, 2018, and their award plaques will be displayed in the Esso Great Hall at the Hockey Hall of Fame alongside past award recipients.

 

Recipients of these awards, as selected by their respective associations, are recognized by the Hockey Hall of Fame as “Media Honourees” ─ a separate distinction from individuals inducted as “Honoured Members” who are elected by the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

 

The 2018 Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Weekend begins on Friday, November 9, 2018, culminating with the Induction Celebration on Monday, November 12, 2018.  This year’s inductees will be announced on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.

 

Named in honour of the late Montreal newspaper reporter, the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award was first presented in 1984 by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association in recognition of distinguished members of the hockey writing profession whose words have brought honour to journalism and to the game of hockey.

 

Named in honour of the late “Voice of Hockey” in Canada, the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award was first presented in 1984 by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association in recognition of members of the radio and television industry who have made outstanding contributions to their profession and to the game of hockey.

 

ICYMI: NHL Morning Skate for Tuesday, May 29, 2018: Vegas wins high scoring affair to open Final; Marchessault sets NHL record

PUBLICATION WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

MONDAY’S RESULT
Down 4-3 early in the third period, the Golden Knights scored three unanswered goals – including the winning and insurance tallies by Tomas Nosek – to defeat the Capitals in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

* Since the Final went to the best-of-seven format in 1939, the team that has won Game 1 has gone on to capture the Stanley Cup 78.2% of the time (61 of 78 series) – including each of the past six years. The Bruins were the last team to rally for a series victory after losing Game 1 of the Final, winning in seven games in 2011 (vs. VAN).

GOLDEN KNIGHTS, CAPITALS ENGAGE IN RECORD SEESAW AFFAIR . . .
The Golden Knights and Capitals traded the lead four times in Game 1. Washington overcame a 1-0 deficit to go ahead 2-1, Vegas responded by taking a 3-2 advantage. The Capitals then rallied for a 4-3 lead, but the Golden Knights scored the final three goals for a 6-4 victory.

This marked just the third game in NHL postseason history – and first in the Stanley Cup Final – to feature four lead changes. The others: Game 2 of the 1936 Quarterfinals (NYA 4 at CHI 5) and Game 2 of the 1992 Division Semifinals (EDM 5 at LAK 8).

. . . COMBINE FOR 10 GOALS TO CONTINUE PLAYOFF SURGE
The Golden Knights and Capitals contested the ninth Game 1 in Stanley Cup Final history with 10 or more combined goals – and third since 1983 (also 2000 and 2010). Overall, it marked the most combined goals in any Stanley Cup Final contest since Game 4 of the 2013 series (CHI 6 at BOS 5, OT).

* The 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs are averaging 5.9 goals per game (472 G in 80 GP), the most since 2010 (6.0).

NOSEK PLAYS UNLIKELY HERO IN GAME 1
Golden Knights forward Tomas Nosek (2-0—2) registered his first multi-goal game and game-winning goal while skating in his 97th NHL contest (regular season and playoffs).

* Vegas acquired Nosek from Detroit in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. The 25-year-old Pardubice, Czech Republic, native originally signed with the Red Wings as an undrafted free agent in 2014.

* Nosek recorded 7-8—15 in 67 regular-season games with the Golden Knights in 2017-18, followed by 1-2—3 in 12 playoff contests entering Game 1. Overall, he had 9-10—19 in 96 NHL appearances prior to Game 1.

* Nosek also provided the heroics in Game 1 of last year’s Calder Cup Final, scoring the winning goal for the Grand Rapids Griffins with 13.9 seconds remaining in regulation (vs. SYR). He led the Griffins, and ranked third in the AHL, with 10-12—22 in the playoffs en route to winning the Calder Cup.

MARCHESSAULT SETS RECORD FOR FIRST-YEAR PLAYOFF TEAM
Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault collected one assist, giving him 8-11—19 in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs (16 GP). That established a record for a player with a franchise in its first-ever postseason, surpassing the Islanders’ Jude Drouin in 1975 (6-12—18 in 17 GP) and Sharks’ Igor Larionov in 1994 (5-13—18 in 14 GP).

Teammate Reilly Smith added 1-1—2, moving within one point of Marchessault for the team lead in playoff scoring (3-15—18 in 16 GP).

GOLDEN KNIGHTS PICK UP ANOTHER WIN AT T-MOBILE ARENA
The Golden Knights improved to 7-1 at T-Mobile Arena during the playoffs, outscoring opponents 31-16. Their lone loss came in double-overtime in Game 2 of the Second Round vs. SJS (4-3 L).

During the regular season, Vegas shared third in the NHL with 29 victories on home ice (29-10-2). That included an eight-game winning streak from Oct. 15 – Nov. 24, matching an NHL record for a team in its inaugural season.

DID YOU KNOW?
Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves scored the tying goal 1:31 after the Capitals took the lead in the third period. It marked the fifth time in the last six games that Vegas has responded to an opponent’s goal with one of its own within 2 minutes.

KUZNETSOV, CARLSON STAY HOT FOR CAPITALS
Capitals teammates Evgeny Kuznetsov (0-1—1) and John Carlson (1-0—1) each found the scoresheet to pad and set franchise records:

* Kuznetsov extended his franchise-record postseason point streak to 11 games (6-10—16), the longest by any player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2010 and fifth-longest since 1997:

* Carlson scored his 17th career playoff goal (all w/ WSH) to move past Kevin Hatcher (16) for the most by a defenseman in Capitals history. Carlson leads NHL blueliners with 4-13—17 this postseason, franchise records for assists and points by a defenseman in one playoff year.

‘STANLEY CUP LIVE’ GIVES FANS NEW LOOK AT FINAL EXPERIENCE
The first episode of Stanley Cup Live aired on Facebook Live from the heart of the party at Toshiba Plaza outside T-Mobile Arena, with Lil Jonjudging a rap battle between co-hosts Adam Burish and Jackie Redmond before Blue Man Group busted out the paint brush on Burish.

On today’s show, Adam and Jackie head to the Chapel at Bellagio with the Stanley Cup (live at 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT).

QUICK CLICKS

•    Golden Knights defeat Capitals in back-and-forth Game 1 of Cup Final (via Dan Rosen)
•    Vegas goes even bigger for Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final
•    Michael Buffer gets fans ‘ready to rumble’ before Stanley Cup Final Game 1 (via Nick Cotsonika)
•    Capitals, Golden Knights fans party before Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final
•    Seattle expansion vote by NHL Board of Governors could come in fall (via Dan Rosen)

 

 

 

 

 

 

NHL Morning Skate for Monday, May 28, 2018: NHL Stanley Cup Finals begin

PUBLICATION WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

Historic Game 1 goes tonight in Vegas; Players feeling relaxed ahead of Final

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HISTORIC STANLEY CUP FINAL BEGINS TONIGHT IN LAS VEGAS
History will be made tonight when the Golden Knights and Capitals face off at T-Mobile Arena for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final (5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET on NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

* Since the Final went to the best-of-seven format in 1939, the team that has won Game 1 has gone on to capture the Stanley Cup 78.2% of the time (61 of 78 series) – including each of the past six years. The Bruins were the last team to rally for a series victory after losing Game 1 of the Final, winning in seven games in 2011.

* The expansion Golden Knights are seeking to become the first NHL, MLB, NBA or NFL team to win a championship in its inaugural season – excluding the first year of a league’s existence – since the 1950 Cleveland Browns captured the NFL Championship. The NBA’s Minneapolis Lakers (1948-49) and Baltimore Bullets (1947-48) also won the title in their respective first seasons.

* The Capitals are playing in the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in franchise history and first time since 1998, when they were swept by the Red Wings (4-0 L).

A free concert headlined by rapper Lil Jon and featuring special guests on Toshiba Plaza, located outside T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas will open the Stanley Cup Final. The concert will begin at 3:00 p.m. PT. The concert will be free and open to the public. No ticket will be required to view the performance.

MUST SEE: Stanley Cup champion Adam Burish and NHL Network’s Jackie Redmond will host the first episode of Stanley Cup Live, a daily 10-minute show that will be live-streamed on Facebook from Las Vegas and Washington. The live show will be shot in various locations in each host city – with a focus on the pomp and circumstance taking place off the ice – and will debut from Toshiba Plaza following the Lil Jon concert.
PLAYERS FEELING RELAXED HEADING INTO GAME 1
As players made the rounds at Stanley Cup Final Media Day, Ryan Reaves of the Golden Knights and Andre Burakovsky of the Capitals turned the tables to interview their teammates.

* Reaves chatted with defensemen Brayden McNabb and Luca Sbisa and grilled forward Alex Tuch on how he came to earn the nickname “The Mayor of Las Vegas.”

* Meanwhile, Burakovsky struggled to keep a straight face while interviewing teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov, among others.

KEY CONTRIBUTORS: 2018 STANLEY CUP FINAL
Goaltenders Braden Holtby and Marc-Andre Fleury each carry strong stat-lines into Game 1, while forwards Alex Ovechkin and Jonathan Marchessault are on the brink of record-breaking totals.

* Holtby enters his first Stanley Cup Final with an active shutout streak of 159:27 dating to Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final. It is the longest such run of his playoff career and 9:45 shy of matching his personal-best during the regular-season (169:12 from Jan. 5-9, 2017).

* Fleury gets set for his fifth Stanley Cup Final having not allowed a goal against in a Game 1 on home ice this postseason, following shutouts against the Los Angeles Kings (30 saves) and San Jose Sharks (33 saves). He can become the first goaltender in League history, and eighth player regardless of position, to win the Stanley Cup in consecutive years with different teams.

* Ovechkin sits two goals shy of matching the franchise record in a single postseason, set by John Druce in 1990 (14). Ovechkin, who has 607 goals in his regular-season career (1,003 GP), ranks ninth in NHL history with an average of 0.50 goals per game during the playoffs (58 in 116 GP) among players with at least 100 games played.

* Marchessault (8-10—18) has tied the NHL record for point by a player with a franchise in its first-ever postseason, pacing Vegas in both goals and points, with linemates Reilly Smith (2-14—16) and William Karlsson (6-7—13) not far behind.
LOOKING BACK AT OTHER FIRST-TIME PLAYOFF TEAMS IN THE STANLEY CUP FINAL
The expansion Golden Knights are the sixth team in NHL history to reach the Stanley Cup Final in their first trip to the playoffs, and just the second to do so in their inaugural season.

* The 1917-18 Toronto Arenas captured the Stanley Cup in the NHL’s first season, defeating Pacific Coast Hockey Association’s Vancouver Millionaires in a best-of-five series (3-2).

* The 1925-26 Montreal Maroons became the second NHL team to win the Cup in its first-ever playoff appearance, ending their second season in the League by winning a best-of-five series (3-1) against the Victoria Cougars of the Western Hockey League.

* The 1926-27 Boston Bruins reached the Final in their third season, losing to the “confident” Ottawa Senators in a best-of-five series (2-0-2).

* The 1967-68 St. Louis Blues defeated the Minnesota North Stars to emerge from the all-expansion West Division to advance to the Stanley Cup Final, where they ultimately lost to the Canadiens in four straight games.

* The 1995-96 Florida Panthers were the last NHL club to reach the Final in their first trip to the postseason, falling in four games to the Colorado Avalanche.

QUICK CLICKS

· ‘The Simpsons’ predicted Stanley Cup would end up in Las Vegas

· Gerard Gallant plays huge role in Golden Knights’ run to Stanley Cup Final

· Capitals must cope with ‘Vegas way’ vs. Golden Knights in Final

· Jonathan Marchessault improves game for Golden Knights on way to Cup Final

· VIDEO: Alex Ovechkin discusses reaching first Stanley Cup Final

 

 

 

NHL Stanley Finals Game 1 Preview Notes: Capitals at Vegas tonight

GAME PREVIEW WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

 

Series Officials

Referees Marc Joannette, Wes McCauley, Chris Rooney and Kelly Sutherland and linesmen Derek Amell, Greg Devorski, Matt MacPherson and Jonny Murray have been selected to work the 2018 Stanley Cup Final.

 

Referees S.C. Final App. Final Games Worked
Marc Joannette 3rd (2008, 2009) 6
Wes McCauley 6th (2013-2017) 14
Chris Rooney 3rd (2012, 2013) 6
Kelly Sutherland 5th (2010, 2011, 2015, 2016) 12

 

Linesmen S.C. Final App. Final Games Worked
Derek Amell 6th (2009, 2012, 2014-2016) 15
Greg Devorski 3rd (2006, 2010) 7
Matt MacPherson 1st
Jonny Murray 3rd (2012, 2016) 6

 

Game 1 Officials

The referees for today’s game are Marc Joannette (#25) and Wes McCauley (#4). The linesmen are Jonny Murray (#95) and Matt MacPherson(#83).

 

2018 Stanley Cup Final Information Guide

A reminder that the 2018 Stanley Cup Final Information Guide is available for download via the NHL’s Media site.

 

Series Notes

* This marks the sixth Final in NHL history – and first in 11 years – featuring two teams each chasing their first Stanley Cup. Either the Golden Knights or Capitals will become the 19th active franchise to win the trophy.

 

Year     Teams

2007     Ducks defeated Senators, 4-1 (best-of-seven)

1999     Stars defeated Sabres, 4-2 (best-of-seven)

1996     Avalanche defeated Panthers, 4-0 (best-of-seven)

1991     Penguins defeated Minnesota North Stars, 4-2 (best-of-seven)

1934     Black Hawks defeated Red Wings, 3-1 (best-of-five)

 

* Since the Final went to the best-of-seven format in 1939, the team that has won Game 1 has gone on to capture the Stanley Cup 78.2% of the time (61 of 78 series) – including each of the past six years. The Boston Bruins were the last team to rally for a series victory after losing Game 1 of the Final, defeating the Vancouver Canucks in seven games in 2011.

 

* The expansion Golden Knights are seeking to become the first NHL, MLB, NBA or NFL team to win a championship in its inaugural season – excluding the first year of a league’s existence – since the 1950 Cleveland Browns captured the NFL Championship. The NBA’s Minneapolis Lakers (1948-49) and Baltimore Bullets (1947-48) also won the title in their respective first seasons.

 

* The Capitals are playing in the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in franchise history and first time since 1998, when they were swept by the Detroit Red Wings (4-0 L).

 

* The Golden Knights and Capitals each have one player on their roster who is a Stanley Cup champion. Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has won three Stanley Cups (2009, 2016, 2017), all with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Washington defenseman Brooks Orpik won the championship as Fleury’s teammate with the Penguins in 2009.

 

* The only other player on either roster (minimum: 1 GP in 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs) who has skated in the Stanley Cup Final is Golden Knights left wing James Neal, who was a member of the Nashville Predators when they dropped a six-game decision to the Penguins last season.

 

* Fleury was a member of three Penguins teams that eliminated the Capitals from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, in 2009, 2016 (DNP) and 2017. Fleury owns an 8-6 career playoff record vs. WSH, compiling a 2.80 goals-against average and .902 save percentage in 14 games. He played all seven games of Pittsburgh’s Second Round series against Washington in 2017, posting a 4-3 record, 2.58 goals-against average and .921 save percentage. Fleury stopped all 29 shots he faced in a 2-0 Game 7 victory at WSH on May 10, 2017.

 

* Washington captain Alex Ovechkin has scored 31 goals in 52 career games (regular season and playoffs) against Fleury. That includes 21 goals in 38 games during the regular season, and 10 goals in 14 contests during the playoffs.

 

* Meanwhile, Neal has had a hot hand in career appearances against Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, scoring five times in nine games.

 

* Head coaches Gerard Gallant of the Golden Knights and Barry Trotz of the Capitals, who boast decades of NHL experience, are in quest of their first Stanley Cup rings. After an 11-year NHL playing career, Gallant made his League debut behind the bench as an assistant with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2000 and enters the Stanley Cup Final with more than 1,000 games coached (including 410 as a head coach with Columbus, Florida and Vegas). Trotz made his NHL debut as head coach of the expansion Predators in 1998 and was the team’s coach for each of its first 15 seasons. Finishing his fourth season with Washington, Trotz ranks fifth on the NHL’s all-time head coaching list in games (1,524) and wins (762).

 

* General managers George McPhee of the Golden Knights and Brian MacLellan of the Capitals share a long connection that goes back to playing minor hockey together in their hometown. Born fewer than four months apart in Guelph, Ont., the pair were teammates on the 1977-78 Guelph Platers that captured the Canadian ‘Jr. A’ championship. Led by future NHL head coach Ron Smith behind the bench, the team also featured future NHL goaltender Brian Hayward and referee Paul Devorski.

 

* McPhee and MacLellan played four seasons together at Bowling Green State University from 1978-79 through 1981-82, where both garnered several awards, including McPhee’s selection as the Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner as a senior. Their NHL playing careers also intersected for one season, with the New York Rangers in 1985-86. The pair later worked together in the Capitals’ front office from 2000-14 during McPhee’s tenure as general manager.

 

* McPhee is the first GM in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68) and just the second in League history to face a former team of which he was GM in the Stanley Cup Final. The only other NHL GM to do so: Tommy Gorman, whose Montreal Canadiens defeated the Chicago Black Hawks in the 1944 Stanley Cup Final after Gorman led Chicago to the championship in 1934 (vs. DET).

 

* General manager of the Capitals from 1997-2014, McPhee acquired 13 of Washington’s 25 players who have appeared in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Beyond center Jay Beagle (who McPhee signed on March 26, 2008), McPhee also drafted 12 players over a nine-year span, from Alex Ovechkin (1st overall in 2004) to Andre Burakovsky (23rd overall in 2013).

 

* As GM in Washington, McPhee acquired two players currently on the Golden Knights’ roster: defenseman Nate Schmidt (signed as a free agent in 2013) and center Cody Eakin (drafted in the 3rd round, 85th overall, in 2009).

 

* The Capitals will be facing a former teammate in Schmidt, who Vegas claimed from Washington in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. Schmidt signed with the Capitals as an undrafted free agent from the University of Minnesota in April 2013 and made 200 regular-season appearances for Washington from 2013-14 through 2016-17. The 26-year-old St. Cloud, Minn., native leads the Golden Knights in average ice time per game during the playoffs (24:52).

 

* Schmidt looks to add to the list of Golden Knights players with connections to postseason opponents who have made a difference in each round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs:

 

  • Defenseman Brayden McNabb, claimed from the Kings in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft, scored the series-winning goal against Los Angeles in Game 4 of the First Round.

 

  • Center Ryan Carpenter, claimed on waivers from the Sharks in December, earned an assist in Games 5 and 6 against San Jose in the Second Round.

 

  • Right wing Ryan Reaves, a Winnipeg native, scored the series-clinching goal against the Jets in front of a hometown crowd in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final.

 

* The Golden Knights swept the Capitals in their two-game regular-season series, with Vegas winning 3-0 in the clubs’ first-ever meeting on Dec. 23 at T-Mobile Arena and taking the rematch 4-3 on Feb. 4 at Capital One Arena. Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves to record his first shutout as a Golden Knight in the opener. Trailing 3-2 in third period of the return match, Vegas rallied to win on goals by Reilly Smith and Alex Tuch. The victory was the Golden Knights’ 20th in their past 27 decisions (20-4-3).

 

* Nevada will become the 16th different U.S. state to host a Stanley Cup Final game since the NHL was founded in 1917-18, joining California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. The District of Columbia and four Canadian provinces (Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec) also have hosted Stanley Cup Final games since the League’s founding.

 

* A closer look at how the Golden Knights and Capitals match up (minimum one GP in 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs):

 

Average Height

VGK: 6’1” (73.0”), WSH: 6’1” (73.1”)

 

Average Weight

VGK: 200 lbs., WSH: 203 lbs.

 

Average Age

VGK: 27.8, WSH: 27.4

 

Birthplaces

VGK: Canada (12), USA (4), Sweden (2), Czech Republic (1) Finland (1), France (1), Italy (1), Slovakia (1)

WSH: Canada (7), USA (6), Czech Republic (3), Russia (3), Sweden (2), Austria (1), Denmark (1), Germany (1), United Kingdom (1).

 

Golden Knights Notes

* The Golden Knights are the first expansion team in 50 years from the NHL, MLB, NBA or NFL to even reach the championship series or game in its inaugural season. The 1967-68 Blues were the last to accomplish the feat, emerging from the NHL’s all-expansion West Division to advance to the Stanley Cup Final (where they ultimately lost to the Canadiens in four straight games).

 

* Only one other NHL team has advanced to the Stanley Cup Final in its inaugural season, but also was guaranteed to represent a first-year club in the championship round. The 1917-18 Toronto Arenas captured the Stanley Cup in the NHL’s first season, defeating Pacific Coast Hockey Association’s Vancouver Millionaires in a best-of-five series (3-2).

 

* This marks the third consecutive year that a team will make its debut in the Stanley Cup Final. Clubs doing so own an all-time series record of 11-17 in the Stanley Cup Final, with the last three instances ending in defeat – the 2015-16 Sharks and 2016-17 Predators both lost in six games to the Penguins, while the 2006-07 Senators lost in five games to the Ducks. The 2003-04 Lightning were the last team to win the Stanley Cup in its first trip to the Final.

 

* The Golden Knights enter the Stanley Cup Final with a 12-3 record in the postseason. Only 12 other NHL teams have won at least 12 of their first 15 games of a playoff year since 1986-87, when the Stanley Cup Playoffs went to a four-round, best-of-seven format. Four of the previous 12 clubs went on to win the Stanley Cup.

 

* In the First Round vs. LAK, Vegas became the first team from the NHL, MLB or NBA to complete a four-game sweep to win its first-ever playoff series in its inaugural season. The Golden Knights’ First Round sweep over the Kings not only was the first of its kind for a professional team in its inaugural season, but also a rare feat for any club in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in recent years. Only 12.5% of series ended after four games from 2009-17.

 

* Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has allowed two or fewer goals in 10 of his 15 postseason appearances, compiling a 12-3 record with a 1.68 goals-against average, .947 save percentage and four shutouts. That includes a 6-1 mark at T-Mobile Arena, where he has a 1.50 goals-against average, .950 save percentage and two shutouts.

 

* Already a three-time Stanley Cup champion (w/ PIT), Fleury is set to become the 19th goaltender in NHL history to represent multiple teams in the Final. The last netminder to do so was Dominik Hasek, who backstopped the Red Wings to a Stanley Cup win in 2002 after playing in the Final with the Blackhawks (1992) and Sabres (1999).

 

* Fleury, who registered every win during Pittsburgh’s championship run in 2009, can become the 11th goaltender in NHL history to have his name on the Stanley Cup at least four times – and the fourth of that group to win with multiple clubs. He also can become the first goaltender in League history, and eighth player regardless of position, to win the Stanley Cup in consecutive years with different teams and first since Cory Stillman did so in 2004 with the Lightning and 2006 with the Hurricanes.

 

* The line of Jonathan Marchessault (8-10—18), Reilly Smith (2-14—16) and William Karlsson (6-7—13), featuring Vegas’ top three point-producers, has combined for 16-31—47 and five game-winning goals during the playoffs (15 GP). Marchessault’s 18 points match the NHL record for a player with a franchise in its first-ever postseason, set by the Islanders’ Jude Drouin in 1975 (6-12—18 in 17 GP) and matched by the Sharks’ Igor Larionov in 1994 (5-13—18 in 14 GP).

 

* During the regular season, Vegas became the first modern-era expansion team from any of the four North American professional sports leagues to start from scratch and finish first in its division (excluding mergers and all-expansion divisions).

 

Capitals Notes

* Washington owns an 8-2 record as visitors this postseason, outscoring opponents 36-20 in those contests. Only four teams have won more road games in a single postseason, three of which captured the Stanley Cup: the 1995 Devils (10-1), 2000 Devils (10-2) and 2012 Kings (10-1). The 2004 Flames (10-4) also won 10 road games, but ultimately lost in the Stanley Cup Final (4-3 vs. TBL).

 

* Captain Alex Ovechkin scored the winning goal (at 1:02 of the first period) in Game 7 at TBL. It marked the second-earliest decisive goal in a Game 7, behind only Montreal’s Jean Beliveau (0:14) in the 1965 Stanley Cup Final vs. CHI. Ovechkin enters the 2018 Stanley Cup Final with 58 total goals in 116 career postseason outings. His average of 0.50 goals per game in the playoffs ranks ninth in NHL history among players who have appeared in at least 100 contests.

 

* Ovechkin, who eclipsed 600 goals and 1,000 games during the regular season (607-515—1,122 in 1,003 GP), will be making his Stanley Cup Final debut in his 13th NHL season. Only one player has scored more regular-season goals prior to making his Stanley Cup Final debut: Dave Andreychuk, who had 634 goals when he played for the Lightning – and ultimately won the championship – in 2004.

 

* Ovechkin, who registered a League-high 49 goals during the regular season to capture his seventh career Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, paces Washington with 12 goals in the playoffs (12-10—22 in 19 GP). That is two shy of the franchise record in a single postseason, set by John Druce in 1990 (14 in 15 GP).

 

* Center Evgeny Kuznetsov leads the NHL with 11-13—24 this postseason (19 GP), a single-year franchise record. He enters the Stanley Cup Final on a 10-game point streak (6-9—15), another club record and the longest such run by anyone in the playoffs since 2014 (Anze Kopitar: 4-11—15 in 10 GP w/ LAK).

 

* In the Second Round vs. PIT, Washington dethroned the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions courtesy of a Kuznetsov goal at 5:27 of overtime in Game 6 at PPG Paints Arena. In doing so, he became the seventh player in Capitals history to register a series-clinching goal in overtime. Six of those goals have come on the road.

 

* During the regular season, Kuznetsov posted career highs in goals (27) and points (83), raising his point total by 24 compared to last season to become the first Capitals player other than Ovechkin or Nicklas Backstrom to reach the 80-point milestone since 2009-10 (Alexander Semin).

 

* Goaltender Braden Holtby has not allowed a goal in 159:27, shutting out the Lightning in Games 6 and 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. He became the 27th different goaltender in NHL history to record a shutout in a Game 7 and the fifth to do so to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Final. Of those five, Harry Lumley and Dominik Hasek also posted shutouts in Game 6 of their respective series.

 

* Holtby, who has started Washington’s last 17 contests after dressing as the backup for Games 1 and 2 of the First Round vs. CBJ, improved to 8-5 in 13 career elimination games (1.73 GAA, .937 SV%, 1 SO). Overall, he owns a 41-36 record in 77 career playoff appearances (2.01 GAA, .930 SV%, 6 SO). Among netminders with at least 50 postseason outings, Holtby ranks second in NHL history in save percentage (.930) and third in goals-against average (2.01).

 

John Carlson ranks second among NHL defensemen with 3-13—16 this postseason (19 GP), single-year franchise records for assists and points by a blueliner. Carlson also sits in the top three among Capitals defensemen in career playoff goals (t-1st; 16), assists (3rd; 35), points (3rd; 51) and games played (t-1st; 95).

 

NHL Conference Finals recap: 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

Historic Final will see Fleury, Ovechkin lead clubs in pursuit of first Cup

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FIRST-TIME WINNER GUARANTEED AS VEGAS, WASHINGTON REACH CUP FINAL
After each winning their division during the regular season, the Golden Knights and Capitals will meet in a best-of-seven showdown to determine which club will win its first-ever Stanley Cup. Game 1 is set for Monday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

* This marks the sixth Final in NHL history – and first in 11 years – to feature two clubs each chasing their first-ever Stanley Cup. Either the Golden Knights or Capitals will become the 19th active franchise to win the Cup.

 

 

* The Golden Knights and Capitals each earned their three series-clinching victories on the road, marking the first time in NHL history that two clubs reached the Final in that fashion. Vegas posted its last such win against the team with the best home record from the regular season (WPG: 32-7-2), while Washington clinched series on the road against two clubs that ranked among the top five in home wins in 2017-18 (PIT: 30-9-2 and TBL: 29-10-2).

* Including Vegas and Washington, 11 franchises in NHL history have won at least three consecutive series by clinching each on the road (17 total streaks). The Golden Knights are the sixth franchise in NHL history to earn each of its first three series-clinching victories while on the road, and the first to do so in one postseason.

* There are only two instances of a team clinching four series on the road in one postseason to win the Stanley Cup, and they occurred in consecutive years: the 2008 Red Wings and 2009 Penguins.

 

VEGAS CONTINUES REMARKABLE JOURNEY INTO STANLEY CUP FINAL
After eight months of unforgettable moments and uplifting performances for fans in a grieving city, the Golden Knights will aim to end their historic inaugural season by lifting the Stanley Cup. Vegas is the sixth team in NHL history to reach the Final in its first playoff appearance – and the third to do so in its inaugural season.

* The expansion Golden Knights, who had only one player under contract when the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs began, look to become the second team in NHL history to close their inaugural season as champions. The Toronto Arenas ended the first postseason in League history by winning the Cup on home ice, clinching the best-of-five series on March 30, 1918, with a 2-1 victory against the Vancouver Millionaires of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association.

* In addition to the Golden Knights and Arenas, only one other NHL club has reached the Final in its inaugural campaign: The Blues were swept by the Canadiens in 1967-68, when an expansion team was guaranteed a spot in the championship series.

* This marks the third straight year that a first-time finalist will compete in the Stanley Cup Final. The preceding 28 franchises to debut own an all-time series record of 11-17, including only one victory in the past seven tries – by the 2004 Lightning.

 

 

* Vegas is the 25th team in NHL history – and 13th since the four-round, best-of-seven format was introduced in 1986-87 – to win at least 12 of its first 15 games in a single postseason. Of the previous 24 teams to do so, 14 went on to capture the Stanley Cup (including four since 1986-87).

 

OVECHKIN AIMS TO ADD STANLEY CUP TO ALREADY IMPRESSIVE RESUME
Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin (11-11—22), who ranks second in playoff scoring behind teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov (11-13—24), looks to cap a milestone season by winning the Stanley Cup in his first trip to the Final.

* The 2017-18 regular season saw Ovechkin achieve career milestones in goals (600) and games played (1,000). His 13th NHL campaign also saw him reach the 40-goal mark for the ninth time – outdoors at the 2018 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series in Annapolis, Md., on March 3 – en route to capturing his seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy.

Ovechkin aims to become the third player in NHL history to score 600 career regular-season goals before hoisting his first Stanley Cup.Luc Robitaille won the Cup with the Red Wings in 2002 after compiling 620 goals, while Dave Andreychuk captained the Lightning to a championship in 2004 after scoring 634 times.

* Additionally, Ovechkin can become the 16th player in NHL history to play at least 1,000 career regular-season games before winning his first Cup – and second to do so with the team for which he has played at least 1,000 games (Steve Yzerman w/ DET). He also seeks to become the ninth player to have 1,000 career points before capturing his first Cup.

 

 

* If the Capitals win the series, Ovechkin (Moscow, Russia) would become the first Russian player to captain a Stanley Cup champion. Only two European-born and trained players have done so: Nicklas Lidstrom (Vasteras, Sweden) in 2008 with the Red Wings and Zdeno Chara (Trencin, Slovakia) in 2011 with the Bruins.

 

FLEURY CHASING FOURTH STANLEY CUP IN FIFTH TRIP TO FINAL
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup champion, is set to become the 19th goaltender in NHL history to represent multiple teams in the Final. The last netminder to do so was Dominik Hasek when he backstopped the Red Wings to a Cup win in 2002 after playing in the Final with the Blackhawks (1992) and Sabres (1999).

* Reaching the Final for a fifth time, Fleury owns a career playoff record of 74-54, including a 9-7 mark over the previous two postseasons to help the Penguins win back-to-back Cups in 2016 and 2017.

* Fleury, who registered every win during Pittsburgh’s championship run in 2009, can become the 11th goaltender in NHL history to have his name on the Cup at least four times – and the fourth of that group to win with multiple clubs.

 

 

* The 33-year-old netminder has played every second of every game for the Golden Knights this postseason, allowing two or fewer goals in 10 of 15 outings (12-3, 1.68 GAA, .947 SV%, 4 SO). Only three netminders in the past 18 years have been the lone goaltender of record during the postseason for a Cup-winning team: Boston’s Tim Thomas in 2011, Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick in 2012 and Chicago’s Corey Crawford in 2013.

 

McPHEE REACHES FINAL IN FIRST SEASON WITH TEAM (AGAIN)
Architect of what is already the most successful expansion team in NHL history, George McPhee of the Golden Knights now sits four wins away from his first Stanley Cup, with only the Capitals in his way – a team for which he served as general manager for 17 seasons.

* McPhee was hired by Vegas on July 13, 2016, after serving as GM of the Capitals from 1997 to 2014, a tenure that saw him select 12 of 25 players who have played for Washington this postseason, including Andre Burakovsky – who scored twice in Game 7 on Wednesday – with his last first-round pick with the club (23rd overall in 2013).

* McPhee led Washington to seven division titles, one Presidents’ Trophy (2009-10), 10 postseason appearances and their only other Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1998 – his first campaign with the club. Only one other general manger in League history has reached the Final in his first season with different clubs: Bobby Clarke, in 1985 with the Flyers and 1991 with the Minnesota North Stars (losing both times).

 

STANLEY CUP FINAL GEOGRAPHY: DID YOU KNOW?
Nevada will become the 16th different U.S. state to host a Stanley Cup Final game since the NHL was founded in 1917-18, joining California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

The District of Columbia and four Canadian provinces (Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec) also have hosted Stanley Cup Final games since the League’s founding.

 

2018 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS MOST-WATCHED IN 21 YEARS
The historic run by the Golden Knights and longest playoff drive in two decades by the Capitals have captured the attention of hockey fans as NBC Sports’ coverage of the first three rounds of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs was the most-watched in 21 years (and up 7% versus 2017).

Including Wednesday’s Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, NBC Sports’ coverage of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs to date has averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 1.206 million viewers, which stands as the most-watched playoffs in 21 years (1997/ESPN, ESPN2, FOX 1.237 million viewers), and is up 7% vs. 2017 (1.129 million).

NBC Sports’ coverage of the Conference Finals averaged a combined TAD of 1.977 million viewers (12 games), making it the most-watched Conference Finals round in three years (2015, 2.259 million) and up 9% vs. last year (1.808 million).

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