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Around the NHL: Holtby Saves the Day as Capitals Tie Series

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Goaltending was hardly the showcase in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. In Game 2, a huge save in the final minutes was the highlight.

Braden Holtby stopped 37 shots, including making a diving stick save on Alex Tuch with two minutes remaining in the third, to help the Washington Capitals hold on for a 3-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 2, evening the series at one.

For the second straight game, Vegas opened the scoring with James Neal lacing a high shot to the top shelf at 7:58 of the first.

Washington tied the game with 2:33 left in the first, as some quick passing by the Capitals set up Lars Eller with a wide open net in front.

Washington grabbed the lead in the second period on their first power play of the game. More quick passing led to the goal, as Eller fed a pass through the crease to Alex Ovechkin backdoor and he banked the quick shot off Marc-Andre Fleury and in.

The Capitals opened up a 3-1 lead just over four minutes later. Eller again set up the goal, getting a pass over to Brooks Orpik. Orpik's shot deflected off Tuch's elbow and by Fleury for the goal, Orpik's first of the playoffs.

Vegas did get the margin back to one by capitalizing on a power play late in the period. Shea Theodore fired a shot from the point through traffic to beat Holtby with 2:13 left in the period.

In the third, Vegas got a golden opportunity to tie the game. Tom Wilson was called for interference at 3:13 of the period. Eller took a hooking penalty just 52 seconds later, giving the Golden Knights a 5-on-3 for 1:08. The Capitals were able to kill off both penalties to retain the one-goal lead, then proceeded to hold Vegas without a shot for nearly nine minutes.

Vegas had their chance in the closing moments of the period. A dump in by Theodore took a strange bounce off the corner boards and skipped through the crease. There was no Vegas player in front of the net for the crazy bounce, but it did reach the stick of Cody Eakin at the right circle. Eakin got the puck across to Tuch with a wide open net, but Holtby was able to dive across and knock down the attempt with his stick, preserving the one-goal lead.

Washington finished off the 3-2 win in the final minutes, sending the series to Washington tied, 1-1. 

Game 3 is set for Saturday night from Washington at 8 p.m. 

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