Washington takes a 2-1 series lead

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury falls to the ice after Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly (25) collided with him during the first period in Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Saturday, June 2, 2018, in Washington. Smith-Pelly was called for a goaltender interference and there was no goal on the play. (Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Capitals defeated the Las Vegas Golden Knights, 3-1, and in the process took a 2-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night.

Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored second-period goals and Devante Smith-Pelly added another late in the third period to put the Golden Knights in a hole. The lone Vegas goal came from Tomas Nosek, who cashed in a mistake by Washington goaltender Braden Holtby at 3:29 of the third period.

Vegas pulled goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for the final two and half minutes of the game but couldn’t break through.

It was the first Stanley Cup Final held in the nation’s capital since 1998.

Smith-Pelly’s goal late in Game 3 was the game-sealer as it put the Capitals up by two. Vegas defenseman Shea Theodore had trouble clearing the puck and Capitals centerman Jay Beagle took the puck away and found Smith-Pelly skating in all alone on Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Smith-Pelly ripped it past the goalie at 13:53 of the third period.

Washington holds a 21-13 advantage in shots on goal after two periods.

Washington lost the opener, 6-4, in Vegas before rebounding to win 3-2 on Wednesday.

Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final between Washington and Las Vegas is set for Monday night at 8 p.m.

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