Capitals: Lars Eller hat trick leads to Game 1 win in Stanley Cup Final in NHL 20

Lars Eller, Washington Capitals (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Lars Eller, Washington Capitals (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The virtual Washington Capitals went 1-0 today thanks to Lars Eller.

After defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in the third round, our virtual Washington Capitals advanced to the Stanley Cup Final where they went up against the Colorado Avalanche. Thanks to a first period hat trick from Lars Eller and four goals overall from the Tiger King, the Caps cruised to a 9-4 win in our NHL 20 simulation.

The Caps erupted for five unanswered goals in the opening period behind a hat trick from none other than the hero of the Stanley Cup Final a few years ago: Lars Eller. It was like he picked up where he left off from his Game 5 game-winning goal.

Erik Johnson got the visitors on the board 91 seconds into the game to give them an early jolt that was eventually short lived. At the eight minute mark, Eller had his first goal of the game with a shot up the middle assisted by Nick Jensen and Braden Holtby.

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At 9:08 Eller got his second goal of the night, rebounding in a shot from Ilya Kovalchuk. The Caps would get on the power play after Joonas Donskoi was called for tripping. The Caps scored on the attack with a slapshot from John Carlson at 11:36. Alex Ovechkin and Holtby had the helpers and it was Carlson’s first goal of the playoffs. Finally, am I right?

Eller completed the hat trick finishing off a perfectly placed pass from Dmitry Orlov. Eller shot it from the right-face off circle top shelf and the hats were unleashed onto the ice. Carl Hagelin had the secondary assist.

The Caps weren’t done yet. At the 17 minute mark Carlson notched his second goal of the game on a shot from downtown. Richard Panik and Orlov had the helpers. 5-1 would be the score after the first 20 minutes in favor of the Caps despite being outshot 12-10.

The Caps tacked on three more goals in the second period, just complete domination in the first 40 minutes of action. At 4:22 Jakub Vrana scored his eighth goal of the playoffs. Orlov and Nicklas Backstrom had the assists and V’s shot came from downtown and went top shelf to knock former Capital Philipp Grubauer out of the game.

At 8:36 Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his 11th goal of the playoffs on a shot from in front of the net. Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie had the assists. At 12:02 Eller notched his fourth goal of the game and eighth goal of the spring. Ovechkin and Orlov had the helpers.

In the third the Avalanche scored a couple but the damage put on by the Caps was done. Erik Johnson scored at 2:04. 10 minutes later it was Gabriel Landeskog. At 14:07, Oshie scored for good measure on the home side. The Avs got one back with five seconds left from none other than Andre Burakovsky. The final was 9-4.

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With momentum on the side of the Caps, can they continue it into Game 2? Check back tomorrow to find out.