Then, during a power play with 28 seconds left in the second period, the Knights scored again - which launched an all-out brawl by the goal that took several minutes to break up and sort out.
Devante Smith-Pelly and Lars Eller scored the game-tying and game-winning goals in the middle of the third period.
One of the benefits for athletes playing in major metropolitan areas is the existence of mass transit to get them to the games if they don't feel like making the drive to the arena.
Following a scoreless opening 20 minutes, the Capitals got on the board 6:24 into the what would become a frantic second when Vrana moved in alone on Fleury and fired his third of playoffs.
Add in Ovechkin's successor as the team's star, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and T.J. Oshie, and it's easy to see why the Capitals had so much regular-season success.
The Capitals had reached the Cup Final once previously, in 1998, when they were swept by the Detroit Red Wings. The Golden Knights tied it at 9:40 when Schmidt's shot deflected in off Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen's right skate.
"Obviously, this emotion is just unbelievable", Ovechkin said.
Ovechkin's 15th goal of the post-season gave him the outright lead, and set a new Capitals record for a single playoffs, one more than John Druce's 14 from 1990. He has a -4 rating over the past two games.
- The Capitals have scored three or more goals in each of the first four games of this series while allowing a total of five goals in the past three games. Vegas will push with everything they have, but these Capitals are relentless.