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|Gerard Gallant and the Vegas Golden Knights still think Tom Wilson’s third-period hit on Jonathan Marchessault in the Stanley Cup Final opener was too late and probably a bit dirty.
The coach also believes it sparked his team’s comeback victory in that Game 1 thriller.
So while he wasn’t happy to hear Wilson will face no discipline from the NHL http://www.buccaneersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-vinny-curry-jersey , Gallant is hoping his team will remember the hit – and more importantly, how they played right after it – when they attempt to take a 2-0 series lead on the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night on the Strip.
”The good thing about the hit is it really woke our team up,” Gallant said after an optional practice at the Golden Knights’ suburban training complex. ”I think it was a 4-4 game?”
Indeed, two novice Stanley Cup finalists were deep into an entertainingly ramshackle opener, but the Knights took charge after that fateful collision left Marchessault sprawled on the ice. Vegas quickly got Tomas Nosek’s go-ahead goal , eventually won 6-4 and surged one game closer to an improbable championship.
The focused aggression necessary to be a successful postseason team is a delicate concoction. The Golden Knights and Caps both had it during the conference playoffs, but they both admit it got away from them in Game 1.
”I think both teams can be better,” Washington coach Barry Trotz said. ”It was a pretty sloppy game.”
After one game to get used to the sky-high stakes of the last round of this tournament, both teams intend to channel their nervous energy more constructively in the future. Both coaches stressed the importance of discipline, completing assignments and not allowing the frenetic Vegas crowd to overwhelm their emotions.
”There’s obviously nerves http://www.chiefsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-derrick-nnadi-jersey ,” Washington’s Jay Beagle said. ”I’m not surprised at anything anymore, but in the Stanley Cup Final, usually it’s 2-1 or 1-0, not (6-4). But you don’t know what to expect from a team that you don’t know that much. Now we’ve got to know them a little bit more.”
The mistakes that worry coaches also lead to exciting hockey, and the opener was thoroughly entertaining even before Wilson lowered the boom on Marchessault. The teams combined for a Final-record four lead changes in the highest-scoring opener in eight years for this final round.
Wilson, who served a three-game suspension in the second round for breaking the jaw of Pittsburgh’s Zach Aston-Reese, and the Capitals still insist the hard-charging forward did nothing wrong when he leveled the Golden Knights’ top playoff scorer.
”It’s within the rules,” Wilson said after practice at T-Mobile Arena. ”It’s a clean hit. I don’t know why it got so much media attention, to be honest. It’s a hard hit, but that’s the day and age we’re in. … I’m trying to play my game. There’s a lot of those hits that are going on http://www.brownsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-baker-mayfield-jersey , but it’s the Stanley Cup Final, and it’s within the rules.”
The NHL Department of Player Safety agreed when it decided not to discipline Wilson for the shoulder-to-shoulder hit, clearly deciding that Wilson’s timing wasn’t extraordinarily late.
Marchessault went to the dressing room and was examined for a possible concussion, but returned to the game. Gallant said the forward is feeling fine for Game 2.
The Capitals had their own complaint about Vegas forward David Perron, who jumped on the ice after the whistle and made contact with Washington captain Alex Ovechkin during the scuffles immediately after the hit.
Once the emotions died down, both teams realized they’ve got to check their more primal urges if they hope to play a solid game on the NHL’s biggest stage. The atmosphere in Las Vegas for the city’s first Final has been electric, but the Caps weren’t intimidated by the frenzied crowd.
Washington goalie Braden Holtby said the biggest difference about playing in Vegas is ”the bass they put in the building. Maybe that’s a little false when … you’re literally shaking from the bass. That’s the only difference. (Their) fans are loud. Our fans are loud. Tampa’s, Pitt’s, Columbus, all fans are loud.”
The condition of the T-Mobile Arena ice also caused occasional problems for both teams with its inconsistencies and general roughness Ryan Switzer Color Rush Jersey , but nobody is claiming the first-year NHL building has any unusual problems. The conditions certainly didn’t hurt the offensive players in any meaningful way, given the final score.
”Ice isn’t an excuse, because it’s the same for both teams,” Holtby said. ”You just want to figure it out quicker than them, and obviously they’ve had the advantage playing here for a while. Our ice isn’t any different than it is here. It’s just little differences. When it’s that hot out, there’s always one thing that’s not great. We’re just figuring out what you can and can’t do.”
More Stanley Cup coverage: Xander Bogaerts hit a three-run homer during a six-run fifth inning, J.D. Martinez and Eduardo Nunez also went deep, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Washington Nationals 11-4 on Tuesday.
Martinez drove in four and leads the majors with 26 homers and 71 RBIs. Boston has won 17 of its last 19 interleague games.
Washington has lost four straight and 16 of 21 to fall to 42-42, its first time at .500 since it was 17-17.
Red Sox starter Brian Johnson allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings. Brandon Workman (1-0) pitched a perfect seventh.
Nationals starter Tanner Roark (3-10) allowed a career-high nine runs in seven innings and is 1-8 with a 5.19 ERA in 12 appearances (11 starts) since May 5.
YANKEES 8, BRAVES 5
NEW YORK (AP) – Giancarlo Stanton John Kelly Color Rush Jersey , Aaron Hicks and Kyle Higashioka each homered and New York went ahead early and hung on to beat Atlanta.
Aaron Judge had two hits and a walk, and he stole two bases for the first time in his career. Hicks also walked twice as New York drew eight free passes.
The Yankees improved to a major league-best 21-6 against left-handed starters and remain a game behind Boston for the majors’ best record.
Nick Markakis and Ender Inciarte each hit two-run homers for Atlanta, which ended a four-game winning streak. Braves starter Sean Newcomb allowed five runs in 2 2/3 innings in the shortest start of his career.
A.J. Cole (2-0) pitched 1 2/3 innings of shutout relief to earn the win.
DODGERS 8, PIRATES 3
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Clayton Kershaw earned his first win in 2 months, five Dodgers homered including Max Muncy with a pair, and Los Angeles beat Pittsburgh.
Ivan Nova (4-6) became the first pitcher in Pirates history to give up five homers in a game. Pittsburgh has been outscored 25-4 in the first two games of the series.
The Dodgers have 11 homers three days into July and 122 so far this season after slugging a major league-leading and franchise-record 55 in June.
Kershaw (2-4) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings of his third start since coming off the disabled list. The left-handed ace struck out two and didn’t walk anyone to earn his first victory since April 15 at Arizona. He had two losses and four straight no-decisions since then.
Kershaw had not gone as late as July 3 with just one win since his rookie year in 2008. That year he didn’t earn his second victory until Aug. 7.
MARINERS 4, ANGELS 1
SEATTLE (AP) – Wade LeBlanc allowed one run over seven innings and Seattle beat Los Angeles for its eighth straight victory.
The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani was activated from the 10-day disabled list and went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in his return. He had been sidelined since June 8 with a Grade 2 ulnar collateral ligament sprain.
The Mariners announced they signed LeBlanc (4-0) to a contract extension before his start and the soft-tossing left-hander showed them they made a good decision. LeBlanc allowed three hits, struck out four and retired his final 11 batters.
Andrew Heaney (4-6) tied a career high with 10 strikeouts, but was tagged with three runs in the first inning to fall behind and was handed the loss.
DIAMONDBACKS 4, CARDINALS 2
PHOENIX (AP) – Paul Goldschmidt hit a three-run homer Pat Valaika Colorado Rockies Jersey , Zack Greinke pitched effectively into the seventh inning and Arizona ended a four-game losing streak by beating St. Louis.
Goldschmidt followed a four-hit night Monday with a three-run homer off Jack Flaherty (3-4) in the fifth inning. The NL player of the month for June, Goldschmidt is hitting .413 with 11 homers and 28 RBIs his past 26 games.
Greinke (9-5) gave up two runs in the second inning to end his 13-inning scoreless streak but was otherwise sharp in winning his fourth straight game. Yoshihisa Hirano needed one pitch to get a groundout with the bases loaded in the seventh and extend his team record with a 26th straight scoreless appearance.
Brad Boxberger worked around a walk in the ninth for his 20th save in 24 chances.
INDIANS 6, ROYALS 4
KANSAS CITY (AP) – Yan Gomes hit a sixth-inning grand slam as Cleveland rallied to beat Kansas City.
The Indians lead the AL with eight grand slams. Francisco Lindor hit a grand slam Monday.
Edwin Encarnacion led off the sixth with a walk and Brandon Guyer was hit by a pitch from Danny Duffy (4-. Yonder Alonso’s infield single loaded the bases. Gomes drove a 1-0 Duffy pitch into the left-field bullpen.
Chad Allen got the final four outs for his 17th save in 18 chances. He stranded two runners in the ninth after a single and a walk.
Shane Bieber (4-0) picked up the victory and remains undefeated in his first five big league starts.
PHILLIES 3, ORIOLES 2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Zach Eflin pitched seven strong innings for his sixth straight victory and Andrew Knapp had the winning hit for the second straight game.
Rhys Hoskins had a two-run double for the Phillies, who have won 11 of 16.
Mark Trumbo homered for Baltimore, which has dropped eight of nine.
The game was delayed at the start 1 hour, 25 minutes due to rain and mostly played under a persistent drizzle.
Eflin (7-2) allowed two runs on five hits with six strikeouts and no walks to become the first Phillies pitcher since Cliff Lee in 2011 to record six consecutive wins.
Orioles starter Alex Cobb (2-10) gave up three runs on four hits with five strikeouts and three walks in 6 2/3 innings.
CUBS 5, TIGERS 3
CHICAGO (AP) – Anthony Rizzo drove in his second run of the game in the seventh inning to snap a tie, Kyle Schwarber followed with a solo homer in the eighth and Chicago rebounded from an early three-run deficit to edge Detroit f.