Just from watching from afar, the Washington Capitals knew how important it was to take at least one game in Vegas to prevent the Las Vegas Golden Knights from taking all of the momentum in the Stanley Cup Finals. They pulled it off on Wednesday night, as Braden Holtby stood on his head in the final minute to help the Caps hang on for a 3-2 win, evening the series at one-apiece. Holtby made a game-saving stick save on a shot from Alex Tuch, who thought he had an open net. Holtby ended the night with 37 saves, keeping the Knights off the board in the final 20 minutes. Alex Ovechkin and Brooks Orpik both scored in the second period, as Orpik ended a personal 220-game drought where he was without a goal. Lars Eller added a goal and two assists, as the Capitals overcame a tough back-and-forth Game 1 loss, where they allowed three third-period goals. The Knights' late-game struggles included failing to convert on a 5-on-3 power play that lasted 1:09. Holtby's highlight-reel save on Tuch came with 1:59 to play in regulation, preventing the game from going longer than three periods. Holtby finished with 15 saves in the third period to hang on to his team's lead. It was the first time in six periods that the Knights had gone scoreless for 20 minutes. James Neal and Shea Theodore both scored for the Knights, while Marc-Andre Fleury made 23 saves in the loss. Game 3 of the series will take place on Saturday night, as they move to Capital One Arena, where the Capitals are just 4-5 on the season.
Scherzer Blanks O's For 150th Win
Max Scherzer has been a major reason that the Washington Nationals did not sink with their early-season struggles, and he continues to produce in a big way on the mound. The right-hander struck out 12 batters over eight innings in the Nationals' 2-0 shutout of the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night. The O's were only able to get two hits off of Scherzer, who recorded his 150th career win with the victory. He was supported by the red-hot Bryce Harper, who connected for his 18th home run of the season in the third inning. The outfielder has gone deep in consecutive games in Oriole Park, which is well known as a homer-friendly ballpark. The Nationals have now won 10 in a row on the road, which is their longest such streak since moving from Montreal in 2005. Chris Davis singled and Manny Machado doubled for the only two hits, while a Mark Trumbo walk was the only other baserunner allowed by Scherzer. What added to the successful night for the Nationals was them moving back in to first place in the NL East with the Atlanta Braves' loss to the New York Mets. The Nats hold a half game lead on the Braves, whom they will battle for four games this weekend at SunTrust Park. Sean Doolittle allowed two hits in the ninth, but escaped with his 13th save and the Nats' 32nd win of the season. They will begin their series with the Braves on Thursday night with Tanner Roark toeing the slab.
Severino Deals as Yankees Take Series From Astros
The New York Yankees looked as if they would not be able to figure out the Houston Astros the way the series began against Justin Verlander on Memorial Day. On Wednesday night, it was their starter's turn to deal, as Luis Severino struck out 11 in a 5-3 win over the defending World Series Champions. Severino lasted seven innings and allowed two runs, as the Yankees notched an impressive series win under their belt, keeping pace with the Boston Red Sox, who completed the sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays earlier in the day. The Yankees got the best of Dallas Keuchel for the second time this month, highlighted by Gary Sanchez's two-run single, which snapped an 0-for-19 slump for the slugger. Severino's outing kept him without a loss since falling to the Red Sox on April 10th, as he also out-dueled Keuchel for the second time this season. He threw his first career complete game while striking out 10 in a 4-0 win over the Astros in Houston on May 2nd. David Robertson threw a scoreless eighth with two strikeouts, while Aroldis Chapman recorded his 12th save in 13 tries in Wednesday's win. Max Stassi was the only source of offense for the Astros, as he connected with a two-run shot off of Severino, and then doubled home a run in the ninth. Houston got the tying run to the plate in the ninth against Chapman. but suffered their second straight series loss. The Astros will return home this weekend for a stellar showdown with the Boston Red Sox, whom they got the best of in last season's ALDS. The Yankees will hit the road for a divisional showdown with the Baltimore Orioles.