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James Neal had the puck on his stick and was staring at an open net. In a can’t-miss situation Andrei Svechnikov Hurricanes Jersey , that’s exactly what he did.

Poised to give the Vegas Golden Knights the opening goal in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, the veteran leader of this upstart expansion team hit the right post . Ping! The puck skipped behind Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby and slithered harmlessly toward the back boards.

”You want those chances. Nine times out of 10 you probably put that in the back of the net,” Neal said. ”I had the composure to wait. And then you shoot it and you’re like, `Oh!”’

The Golden Knights, a team in desperate need of a boost of confidence, collectively shrugged as a golden opportunity slipped away.

”It definitely would have changed the outcome of the game and would have given us momentum,” said right wing Alex Tuch, who knows a thing or two about being coming up empty on a close-in shot.

Not surprisingly, the Golden Knights sputtered the rest of the way Monday night in a 6-2 defeat that put them on the brink of elimination. Washington is up 3-1 and can win its first Stanley Cup on Thursday night in Las Vegas.

”Go home, win one game and the pressure is on them,” Neal said, hopefully.

Although the Capitals have blown many a playoff series in the past, only one team Authentic Thomas Vanek Jersey , the 1942 Detroit Red Wings, has lost the Stanley Cup Final after holding a 3-1 lead.

”Not where we want to be, that’s for sure,” Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said. ”But we have a good bunch of guys with a lot of character in the room. Nobody’s quitting.”

Barring a comeback of historic proportions – an unlikely occurrence after being outscored 12-5 over the past three games – the Golden Knights will always remember this series for ”The Stick” and ”The Post.”

”The Stick” was wielded by Holtby , who used it late in Game 2 to snuff a seemingly sure goal by Tuch in a 3-2 Washington victory. ”The Post” is a symbol of the frustration Vegas has experienced in this series after winning 12 of 15 in roaring to the Western Conference title.

Who knows if things would have been different on Monday night if Neal put the puck in the net?

This much is certain: The reeling Golden Knights were looking for something, anything, to build on when they entered Game 4, and a 1-0 lead would have been splendid. Presented with a power play in a scoreless first period, Vegas worked the puck around smartly in the Washington zone. Then, Erik Haula whisked a cross-ice pass to Neal on the left side of the net, and Holtby was slow to react.

”We obviously got some breaks at the start of the game,” the goaltender said. ”Honestly, I thought it was in. Somehow Authentic Saquon Barkley Jersey , it didn’t go in.”

Said Neal: ”It’s not like anyone made a save. I shot it off the post on the far side. It’s done with. It’s not the first time it’s happened. Probably won’t be the last. But at this stage, at that moment, it changes the game.”

The Capitals rattled off three straight goals before the period ended to take full control.

Game over. On to the next one for the Golden Knights, who face elimination for the first time during the playoffs.

”You can’t feel sorry for yourself. You’ve got to win a game at home,” Neal said. ”That’s what we’ll focus on. I like the way we played. You’ve got to take the positives.”

Coach Gerard Gallant insisted: ”Tonight’s game was a step forward. Obviously, though, we have no more room for error.”

The Golden Knights could use a little luck. Tuch and Brayden McNabb both lined shots off the post after Neal, who scored with just under 16 minutes left to make it 4-1.

But the outcome by then was all but decided.

The Golden Knights have struggled to generate offense against the tenacious Washington defense, and Fleury has not been as sharp as he was in Vegas’ three previous series. He gave up six goals on 23 shots as Vegas dropped its third straight game.

”Obviously, when you’re a goalie, you don’t want to get scored on,” Fleury said. ”There was a lot of that tonight. It’s never a good feeling.”



More Stanley Cup coverage: Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis gave the Athletics an opportunity for another come-from-behind win. Stephen Piscotty completed the job.

Piscotty belted a go-ahead, two-run homer in the 11th inning as Oakland rallied for a 6-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday afternoon.

It was the Athletics’ 22nd comeback win of the season Giants Saquon Barkley Jersey , six of them occurring in extra innings. The Indians carried a 3-0 lead into the eighth before reliever Neil Ramirez gave up back-to-back home runs to Lowrie — a two-run blast — and Davis to tie it.

”You can’t sleep on our offense because we can vaporize the lead really quick,” Piscotty said. ”We know that and that’s why we keep grinding and keep playing.”

Matt Chapman, who had a career-high four hits and stole his first base in the majors, scored later in the frame on Jonathan Lucroy’s grounder to make a winner out of A’s closer Blake Treinen (5-1).

Nine of Oakland’s last 19 victories have occurred via runs in the eighth inning or later, including its last two. The A’s scored twice in the eighth Wednesday to beat San Diego 4-2.

”Just knowing that we’re not out of the game, no matter how late it is, definitely builds confidence,” said Davis, who has a team-high 21 homers. ”We’ll just keep learning from them and hold onto the momentum.”

Cleveland had its home winning streak snapped at eight and fell to 1-6 in extra-inning contests. Josh Tomlin (0-5), the Indians’ sixth pitcher, allowed all three runs after entering to start the 11th.

Right-hander Corey Kluber tossed seven shutout innings, but was denied in his bid to become the first Indians pitcher with 13 wins before the All-Star break since Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry had 15 in 1974.

The two-time AL Cy Young winner allowed only one runner to reach third base, scattering five hits and striking out three before exiting after 102 pitches. Kluber is 7-1 with a 1.43 ERA at Progressive Field this season.
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”Even though we didn’t beat him Alex Colome Seattle Mariners Jersey , to get a win with a guy like Kluber on the mound to start, that might be worth two for us,” Lowrie said. ”It never seems like we’re out of a game.”

Oakland righty Edwin Jackson went 5 2/3 innings in his third big league start of the year, allowing single runs in the first, second and sixth. Ryan Buchter, Lou Trevino and Treinen combined to blank Cleveland the rest of the way.

Ramirez hadn’t allowed a run in his previous 17 appearances, but manager Terry Francona didn’t second-guess his decision to pull his ace.

”Corey is such a good pitcher and he’s smart, and he gave us seven really good innings,” Francona said. ”We lean on him so hard, I thought we’d go to Neil. And it didn’t work. Neil has been good, but today, not so much.”

Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor scored his major league-leading 79th run and had an RBI, while Greg Allen doubled home Yan Gomes. Lindor committed the error that scored Chapman with the game’s final run.

CHESS GAME

The Indians played the final three innings without a designated hitter after Francona made a flurry of strategic moves that forced RHP Zach McAllister into the batting order. The former Phillies skipper also pulled off a rare AL double-switch in the 11th to avoid having Tomlin bat.

”We didn’t want to play a National League game for obvious reasons Carlton Davis Color Rush Jersey ,” Francona said. ”I didn’t want to do it, but I thought that was our best way to win.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Athletics: OF Matt Joyce (lumbar strain) was placed on the 10-day disabled list. He missed 15 games in June with the same ailment. OF Nick Martini was recalled from Triple-A Nashville, where he has a 65-game on-base streak.

Indians: OF Lonnie Chisenhall (left calf strain), who was hurt Monday in Kansas City, will travel to Washington for a second opinion on his oft-injured lower legs. This marks his third DL stint with calf problems in a calendar year.

UP NEXT

Athletics LHP Brett Anderson (0-2, 7.63 ERA) will be activated to face Indians RHP Shane Bieber (4-0, 2.97 ERA) in the three-game series finale. Anderson has not pitched for Oakland since May 18 because of a strained right shoulder.



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10. Aug 2018, 02:54
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