Eller, Holtby shine as Capitals even Stanley Cup final with Knights

Lars Eller had a goal and two assists, Braden Holtby made 37 saves, and the Washington Capitals defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 to even the Stanley Cup Final 1-1 on Wednesday night.

Alex Ovechkin also scored for the Capitals, while Andre Burakovsky added two assists. Holtby made his biggest save late in the third period, stopping the Knights’ Alex Tuch in close.

James Neal and Shea Theodore replied for the expansion Knights. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 23 shots in taking the loss.

Vegas Golden Knights centre Ryan Carpenter, right, tries to get a shot past Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby during the first period in Game 2. (John Locher/The Associated Press)

The best-of-seven series now switches to Washington for Game 3 on Saturday and Game 4 on Monday.

Game 5 will be back in Vegas next Thursday.

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin celebrates his first goal of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday. (Ross D. Franklin/The Associated Press)

With temperatures soaring as high as 37 C in the hours leading up to the late-afternoon puck drop at T-Mobile Arena, the Capitals put in a much better effort on the heels of a sloppy performance from both teams in Monday’s chaotic opener that the Knights won 6-4.

Washington Capitals, right, celebrate a goal by defenceman Brooks Orpik in the second period against the Vegas Golden Knights. (John Locher/The Associated Press)