KNIGHTED AGAIN: Vegas Golden Knights Win Stanley Cup Final Game 1 in Epic Third Period, Title Odds Continue to Shorten

Posted on: May 29, 2018, 07:43h. 

Last updated on: May 29, 2018, 07:43h.

The Vegas Golden Knights have quickly become one of the greatest shows around in a town famed for its world-class entertainment. And Monday night’s Stanley Cup Final Game 1 lived up to fans’ expectations in the Las Vegas T-Mobile Arena on that front.

Vegas Golden Knights Stanley Cup odds
The Vegas Golden Knights’ Cinderella story continued Monday with a Game 1 Stanley Cup Final win that made the attending crowd go wild. (Image: Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun)

The first-year NHL expansion team won Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final over the Washington Capitals in a game that kept the crowd on their feet. The highly entertaining, high-scoring joust was the first of the best-of-seven championship series.

The game was tied three goals apiece entering the third period. That’s when the underdog Caps took the lead on a Tom Wilson goal. But the Knights answered less than 90 seconds later when Ryan Reaves scored an unassisted goal to put the game 4-4.

Seven minutes later, Vegas took a 5-4 lead on a Tomas Nosek goal. He added another goal in the closing seconds to end Game 1 in the Knights’ favor 6-4. The 10-point battle easily covered the 5.5-point over/under. Vegas’ victory also made wagers on the home team on -150 odds winners.

“We put fun ahead of everything, and you can tell,” said Reaves. “Guys here are having fun and they’re smiling.”

Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andrew Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup winner, was a bit shaky, but managed to make 24 saves.

Game 2 is Wednesday in Las Vegas, with the puck dropping at 5 pm Pacific Time (8 pm ET).

Updated Odds

With Game 1 in the books for the Knights, sports books around town are once again shortening their series odds on the favorites.

Prior to Monday’s game, the Knights were favored for the Stanley Cup Final at -150, and the Caps at +130. The morning after Vegas’ Game 1 win, and that price has changed to the Golden Knights -260, Capitals +210.

While many bettors have championship bets placed on the VGKs — with some on odds as long as 500/1 — fans late to the game will need to wager a lot to win a little.

The current -260 line means a $100 bet and Vegas winning the Stanley Cup nets just $38.46. The same bet on the Caps and a Washington series victory returns $210.

The winner of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final has gone on to win 78 percent of the time. The Knights are looking to become the first major professional US sports team to win their league championship in their first year of play since the Cleveland Browns won the NFL title back in 1950.

Wilson Hit

During the nine-minute stretch that saw three goals in the third period, Wilson levied a hit on Jonathan Marchessault that some Knights players hope the league reviews for potential supplemental discipline.

Marchessault said it was a late hit. He returned to the game after going through concussion protocol.

“I think the league will take care of it. We know what type of player he is out there,” Marchessault told reporters. Wilson responded that hockey is “a contact sport.”

Wilson was suspended for three games during Washington’s series against the Pittsburgh Penguins for a hit that broke the jaw of Zach Aston-Reese. The NHL’s Department of Player Safety reviews all hits and determines disciplinary action.