The Washington Capitals inched closer to ending their Stanley Cup drought and possibly even solidifying Alex Ovechkin among the greatest players of all time. The Capitals moved one win away from their first Stanley Cup with a 6-2 rout of the Las Vegas Golden Knights in Game 3 on Monday, taking a 3-1 series lead at Capital One Arena. Washington wasted no time jumping out to a big lead with a three-goal first period against Marc-Andre Fleury, who surrendered all six goals on the night and only had 17 saves in the loss. T.J. Oshie, Tom Wilson, and Devante Smith-Pelly all found the back of the net in the first 20 minutes, as the Capitals never looked back after that. The Knights have now dropped consecutive games for the first time this postseason, as they continue to struggle to score against Braden Holtby, who posted 28 saves in Game 4. James Neal missed on an early opportunity in the opening period, slamming a shot off the post on a wide-open net, which gave the Knights an early sign of how the night was going to go. And that remained to be true, as Vegas banged numerous shots off the post throughout the night. John Carlson, Michael Kempny, and Brett Connolly also scored to help the Capitals roll to this comfortable lead. No team has blown a 3-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the 1942 Detroit Red Wings did it in the Stanley Cup Finals. Evgeny Kuznetsov also had a productive night with three assists and now leads the NHL with 31 points this postseason. The Capitals can secure their first Stanley Cup Title in their 43-year history in Game 5 at T-Mobile Arena on Thursday night.
Yankees Split Doubleheader With Tigers
The New York Yankees struggled to get a game in over the weekend with the horrible weather in Baltimore, but they played two on Monday in Detroit. They split their doubleheader in Mo-Town, which included a 7-4 win in Game 1. That victory was powered by a six-run fourth inning that broke a 1-1 tie. Greg Bird and Austin Romine both went deep in that inning, while Miguel Andujar and Clint Frazier both drove in runs. Gleyber Torres also went deep to support starter Luis Severino, who struck out 10 over eight dominant innings. The Tigers would make things interesting late with a couple runs in the ninth inning, but Victor Martinez struck out as a pinch hitter against Aroldis Chapman to end any comeback hopes. That gave the flame-thrower his 14th save of the season. The nightcap was a different story, as the Yankees' offense struggled against Mike Fiers in a 4-2 loss at Comerica Park. Fiers struck out six in 5.2 innings to earn the win, but not before sparking some drama with Giancarlo Stanton. The Tigers hurler hit Stanton in the arm with a pitch, which the slugger took exception to, as Fiers is the one that hit Stanton in the face in 2013, which is the reason he wears the face-guard on his helmet. Stanton had a few words for Fiers after the incident and then got some payback with a home run in the sixth, which he followed with an emphatic bat flip. The other Yankees slugger had a forgettable day, as Aaron Judge set an MLB record with eight strikeouts in the two games combined. Both teams hit the road beginning Tuesday, with the Yankees in Toronto against the Blue Jays, while the Tigers go to Boston to battle the Red Sox.
Tigers Take Casey Mize With Expected Top Pick
The MLB Draft began on Monday night, and the Detroit Tigers' had the top pick, which many had a good idea of whom it would be. According to team GM Al Avila, the team made their decision over the weekend, as they selected pitcher Casey Mize out of Auburn. Mize, who went undrafted three years ago, became the first No. 1 pick for the Tigers since they took Matt Anderson in 1997. The hurler is said to be "major league ready" after not being chosen right out of high school in 2015. He stands 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, and is coming off a Super Regionals appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Mize went 10-5 with a 2.95 ERA, 151 strikeouts, and 12 walks in 109.2 innings pitched. The pitcher throws a four-seam fastball, changeup, curveball, and two-seam fastball, and many MLB experts expect to see him in the Ol' English D at the major league level within the next year or so. He became the seventh player to go from undrafted to No. 1 overall, and first since Stephen Strasburg did it when he went to the Washington Nationals in 2009. The rest of the top five in the MLB Draft saw Georgia Tech catcher Joey Bart go to the San Francisco Giants, Wichita State third baseman, Alec Blohm, to the Philadelphia Phillies, Oregon State second baseman, Nick Madrigal, to the Chicago White Sox, and Florida third baseman, Jonathan India, to the Cincinnati Reds.