Washington Capitals right wing Devante Smith-Pelly (25) scores a goal on Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) in the first period in game four. Image Credit: USA Today Sports

Washington: The Washington Capitals beat the Las Vegas Golden Knights 6-2 on Monday to move within one win of the first NHL Stanley Cup championship in their 43-year history.

The Capitals lead the best-of-seven Stanley Cup finals 3-1 and will try to finish off the Golden Knights in game five in Las Vegas on Thursday.

The Caps withstood a quick opening barrage from Vegas, scoring three first-period goals to seize control.

Russian Evgeny Kuznetsov produced four assists, including on T.J. Oshie’s power-play goal 9:54 into the first period to open the scoring.

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin helped set up Washington’s third goal with a key pass to Devante Smith-Pelly with 21 seconds left in the first.

Tom Wilson also scored in the first and John Carlson made it 4-0 in the second before Vegas narrowed the deficit to 4-2 in the third with goals from James Neal and Reilly Smith.

Washington responded with goals from Michal Kempny and Brett Connolly to leave the Knights a mountain to climb to become the first debut team in major US sports history to win the title in the first season of their existence.

The Capitals, meanwhile, are on the brink of bringing Washington their first major sports title since the NFL’s Redskins won the 1992 Super Bowl.