The National Hockey League's premier event, the Stanley Cup Finals, takes on a historic new meaning this season as the Vegas Golden Knights have already become the first expansion team to reach the finals in its first year of existence, and starting with Game 1 that will live stream on Monday, the Golden Knights will try to defy 500-1 odds imposed before the season started to become the NHL 2017-2018 champions. At the same time, the Washington Capitals will be playing for their first Stanley Cup championship as well.
The Capitals are also an NHL expansion team — but their first season was 1974. Washington did not even reach the NHL playoffs until the 1982-1983 season, and finally reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 1997-1998. But they were swept in that series by the Detroit Red Wings and have not reached the Stanley Cup Finals again — until this year.
But the Capitals are not only playing to make franchise history, they are also playing to cap off the career of their longtime captain and superstar Alex Ovechkin, who has played his entire, 13-season career in Washington — a career that has seen him lead the NHL in goals seven times, including this season with 49 — and on Monday night will take to the ice in a Stanley Cup Final game for the first time.
To find out how to watch a live stream of the Washington Capitals vs. Vegas Golden Knights NHL Stanley Cup Finals Game 1, see the streaming information at the bottom of this article. The puck drops at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Monday, May 28. That start time will be 5 p.m. in the Pacific Time Zone.
The incredible story of the Vegas Golden Knights actually begins in Washington when the Capitals' 16-year general Manager George McPhee departed the nation's capital in 2014 and took up the helm of what became the Las Vegas expansion team. Not only will McPhee become the first NHL general manager of the post-1966 expansion era to face his former team in the Stanley Cup Final, but it was McPhee who drafted the then-18-year-old Russian Ovechkin in 2004, making him the No. 1 overall pick that year.
While drafting Ovechkin was certainly McPhee's greatest move for the Capitals in his single Golden Knights season, the GM came up with a masterstroke by selecting 33-year-old goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins, rostering the expansion draft. Though Fleury had recently lost his starting job in Pittsburgh, he had appeared in four Stanley Cup Finals there, winning three Cups.
But in the playoffs so far this season, Fleury has allowed just 27 goals in 15 games, with four shutouts and only three losses as the Golden Knights stormed into the finals.
To watch a live stream of the Washington Capitals vs. Vegas Golden Knights NHL Stanley Cup Finals Game 1, go to NBC Sports Live Extra at this link, or download the NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and on set-top devices such as the Roku and Apple TV. The NBC Sports streaming service requires cable or satellite service subscriber login credentials.
However, there is a way for hockey fans to watch the historic Washington vs. Vegas Game 1 stream live for free without a cable subscription. Fans may sign up for a free trial of an "over the top" streaming TV package such as Sling TV at this link, or YouTube TV at this link. Both services require credit card information and subscription fees, but each offers a seven-day free trial, and if the subscription is canceled prior to the expiration of that weeklong period, fans can watch the Capitals vs. Golden Knights Game 1 live stream for free.
In Canada, hockey fans can try the CBC Hockey Night in Canada free live stream at this link or purchase a subscription to Sportsnet Now to watch the NHL Stanley Cup Finals live stream. Signup is available at this link.