This may go down as one of the turning points in this series.
On Wednesday night the Washington Capitals and Las Vegas Golden Knights faced off for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final and, much like the game we got in Game 1, we were treated to an absolutely outstanding contest between these two squads. We had back and forth action both in terms of big physical play and once again it was a game that was separated by only a single goal when it came down to the wire.
The two big news items that will come out of tonight's game however are the injury to Capitals star forward Evgeny Kuznetsov, arguably their best player in the postseason, and how much it may impact him moving forward. The good news for the Capitals is that he returned to the game, the bad news is that he was extremely limited when he did so following the huge hit from Brayden McNabb.
The highlight of the night however will almost certainly go to Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby after his heart stopping save in the final minutes of the 3rd period in Game 2. A lot of the talk in this series has been focused on the incredible performance of Marc-Andre Fleury, and rightfully so, but tonight it was Holtby stealing the show.
With just under two minutes left on the game clock Las Vegas Golden Knights winger Alex Tuch was given a golden opportunity to tie the game, and while he will almost certainly receive some criticism for not capitalizing on his chance, a ton of the credit here has to go to Holtby. Holtby made arguably his best save of the season when he turned and stuck out his paddle to absolutely rob Tuch, who just a few moments ago was staring at a wide open net.
The save was so spectacular that even the Las Vegas Golden Knights crowd acknowledged it when the replay was shown on the big screen in the arena, but it was the reaction of one Capitals player that truly sold the moment. As the broadcast cycled through the different angles of the save we eventually got an angle of Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin watching the save as it happened, and the reaction from the Capitals superstar is absolutely priceless.
Ovechkin throws his hands over his face and then looks on between his hands in disbelief then, still not believing what he has just seen, he buries his hands behind both his gloves and barely peaks out to look at the replay on the big screen as if he's worried that he might wake up from this wonderful dream he is having.
First here's a look at the awesome save from Holtby:
Now here's a look at the amazing reaction from Ovechkin on the play.
As you can hear from NHL analyst Pierre McGuire in the second replay he thinks that this "has got to be the save of the year" and if you're including the context of this particularly game, a massive game in the Stanley Cup Final he may be right. Do you think it stands above all the others we have seen this season?