games after joining the Kni

Colorado defenseman Patrik Nemeth set career highs this season in goals http://www.giantsauthorizedshops.com...barkley-jersey , games and perhaps even grudges.

See what a little chip on the shoulder can do?

Waived by Dallas in October, he was claimed by Colorado soon after and has played an integral role in helping the Avalanche return to the postseason. He’s not alone: These playoffs are filled with castoffs who were put on waivers, only to find a revamped role with a new team.

It’s not personal. It’s just business. Players realize this. But still, being waived goodbye is hard to swallow.

”Of course you want to prove them wrong,” said Nemeth, whose team trails 3-1 heading to Nashville for Game 5 on Friday night. ”You want to prove you can play and that they were wrong. That’s always going to be in the back of your head – at least for me.”

When Avs defenseman Mark Barberio was cut by Montreal last year, so many thoughts swirled through his head: What went wrong? Next stop, the minors? Is there still even a role for him in the league?

It was a whirlwind 24 hours – the amount of time teams have to make a claim – before the Avs picked him up.

”Colorado saw something in me and decided to give me a chance,” Barberio said. ”I’ve gotten a chance to play regular minutes, and a coaching staff I feel believes in me. I’m trying to repay that faith every time I play.”

That sort of feeling is shared by center Ryan Carpenter, who was claimed by Vegas from Anaheim on Dec. 13. He’s now heading to the second round with the expansion Golden Knights. Carpenter had a key assist in a Game 3 win over Los Angeles.

”It’s amazing … how things can change in pro hockey,” Carpenter said on the team’s website. ”I feel like a little kid right now playing in playoffs. It’s exciting and we want to keep this thing going. It’s nice when you feel like you’re contributing. I never would’ve though in the middle of December I’d be playing right now.”

Minnesota defenseman Nate Prosser was in a similar boat. He was claimed after St. Louis put him on waivers in late November, returning the nine-year NHL veteran to his home-state team for another stint. The Wild previously claimed Prosser off waivers from St. Louis on Oct. 2 http://www.packersauthorizedshops.co...jackson-jersey , 2014, after he had signed with the Blues that summer but was let go just before the season.

A reliable defenseman, he has taken on added responsibility after an injury to Ryan Suter.

”It puts the onus on the rest of us to amp up our game a little bit,” Prosser said. ”Just different parts of the game we’ve got to make sure we’re honing in on.”

Then there’s Stefan Noesen , who’s had quite a path to wind up with the New Jersey Devils. Drafted by Ottawa in the first round in 2011 and traded to Anaheim in ’13, he was claimed by the Devils on Jan. 25, 2017. He had his first playoff goal in Game 3 against Tampa Bay.

”Just because you get put on waivers doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t play,” Nemeth said. ”Sometimes the situation is the way it is and you need a new opportunity.”

That was the case for Nemeth, a second-round pick by Dallas in 2010. He played in a career-high 68 games for Colorado, with three goals, 12 assists and a plus-27 rating, which was the highest by an Avalanche defenseman since Adam Foote in 2002-03 – the benefits of a change in scenery.

”It could be different scenarios,” Nemeth said of factors leading to being placed on waivers. ”Sometimes Mark Walton Color Rush Jersey , it’s just too many guys. Sometimes, your coach might not like you or might not appreciate what you bring to the table. It’s just different, depending on what situation you’re in. For me personally, it was good.”

Avalanche defenseman Duncan Siemens went through the experience last fall – with his own team. He was reassigned to San Antonio in the American Hockey League before spending the last seven weeks with Colorado. He made his playoff debut in the Predators series.

”This is such a competitive league,” said Siemens, a first-round pick by Colorado in 2011. ”There are so many good hockey players out there. Your first chance could be your last chance. Anytime you get an opportunity, you have to make the most of it because you don’t know if you’re going to get another one.”



AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell contributed to this report.



In a single nine-minute stretch of the third period, the Washington Capitals dramatically took the lead before the Vegas Golden Knights replied with two goals of their own. Washington’s Tom Wilson also flattened Vegas forward Jonathan Marchessault with a blindside hit that could reverberate through the Stanley Cup Final.

After 10 goals and a Final-record four lead changes overall in a fantastically entertaining opener, it’s tough to imagine what these unlikely opponents will do for an encore.

But the upstart Golden Knights have spent their entire inaugural season speeding past all expectations, and their first Final game didn’t slow them down in the slightest.

Tomas Nosek scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period, and the expansion Golden Knights surged past the Capitals for a 6-4 victory on Monday night.

”We put fun ahead of everything, and you can tell,” said Ryan Reaves http://www.panthersauthorizedshops.c...jackson-jersey , who scored the Knights’ tying goal in the third period. ”Guys have are having fun and they’re smiling.”

The Eastern Conference champion Capitals hadn’t given up this many goals in 29 games since March 18, but they hadn’t seen anything like this charmed run by the upstart Knights. With its sellout crowd of hometown fans at deafening volume all night, Vegas put its usual speed and relentlessness on full display while overcoming that third-period deficit to win the opener of a matchup between two franchises seeking their first Stanley Cup titles.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves in an occasionally shaky performance, but the three-time Stanley Cup winner’s new teammates carried the goalie who has so often carried them with a relentless outburst of offense.

”We’re a good defensive group, but we weren’t tonight,” Marchessault said. ”They’re a team that’s very fast in the neutral zone, and we gave them too much respect with the puck. We need to be faster in the defensive zone. We’re going to fix that in our game.”

The Game 1 winner has won the last six Cups and 61 of 78 overall.

Braden Holtby stopped 28 shots for the Capitals, whose first Stanley Cup Final game in 20 years was a defensive nightmare. Washington still played a strong offensive game and had chances to win, but never slowed the Knights.

”I think next game is going to be different, and all the nervousness, all the bad thing goes away in this game,” said captain Alex Ovechkin, who had an assist. ”We just have to forget about it and bounce back (in the) next one.”

Wilson got credit for the goal that put the Caps up 4-3 early in the third period when Fleury back-heeled a loose puck into his own net Authentic Riley Sutter Jersey , but Reaves evened it 91 seconds later for Vegas.

Nosek then put the Knights ahead after Shea Theodore kept the puck in Washington’s zone, sidestepped a defender and fired a beautiful cross-ice pass to the Czech forward, who buried a one-timer for his second goal of the playoffs.

Colin Miller, William Karlsson and Reilly Smith scored early goals before Nosek added an empty-netter for the Knights, who are three wins away from one of the most improbable championships in recent North American team sports history. Just 342 days after the Knights selected the backbone of their first roster in the expansion draft, Vegas had another party on the Strip with its remarkable collection of castoffs.

Brett Connolly, Nicklas Backstrom and John Carlson also scored for Washington, but its biggest stars didn’t match the Knights’ outburst. Along with Ovechkin’s quiet night, Evgeny Kuznetsov – who scored a whopping 24 points in the first three rounds – also had just one assist.

The Golden Knights’ playoff pregame shows have been a celebration of Vegas showmanship, and their first Final game started with an extravaganza that included archers, a trebuchet and a spectacular light show.

And then the Knights and Caps put on a high-energy production of their own with plenty of fireworks and drama.

With none of the customary caution or high-pressure effects often shown by teams and players in their first game on the NHL’s biggest stage, Vegas and Washington jumped right into an up-tempo thriller. Vegas had outscored its opponents 10-0 in the first period at home during the playoffs, but the Caps got two goals.

After Miller scored the Knights’ first goal on a power play and ended Holtby’s scoreless streak at nearly 167 minutes Youth Josh Allen Jersey , Washington calmly surged ahead later in the first period with goals 42 seconds apart.

The wild scoring continued in the third with an own-goal by Fleury, who lost track of a rebound and kicked it backward into his net.

T-Mobile Arena was only quiet for a few seconds before the tying goal from Reaves, who cross-checked Carlson to the ice an instant before the puck unexpectedly bounced to him for an uncontested shot.

Reaves didn’t score at all in his first 26 games after joining the Knights in a trade, but the rough-and-tumble forward broke through with the winning goal in the Western Conference finals clincher against Winnipeg.

Wilson delivered his crushing open-ice hit moments later to Marchessault, who was shaken up on the play. The Golden Knights uniformly criticized it as a late hit, while the rambunctious Wilson defended himself.

”I haven’t obviously slowed it down and looked at it, but I think he’d probably say he shouldn’t have admired his pass, and I’m just finishing my check,” Wilson said.

”I think the league is going to take care of it,” Marchessault said. ”I never see him coming. Puck is away for a couple seconds for sure. But whatever. He&.