Capitals win first Stanley Cup over Vegas

Doug Mendoza
June 8, 2018

Alexander Ovechkin, who scored 15 goals and had 27 points in 24 postseason games, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Members of Washington Capitals celebrate after defeating the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in Game 5 to win the Stanley Cup. The championship is the first by a Washington professional sports team in the NFL, NBA, NHL or Major League Baseball since the Redskins won the Super Bowl on January 26, 1992, and came 40 years to the day the Bullets won basketball's title. Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby has a 1.67 goals-against average and.945 save percentage the past three games. The Capitals advanced to at least the second round in his first three seasons, and had Washington not gotten past that point this time, then the team nearly certainly would have moved on.

"I think the history of the organization is definitely an important thing, but we're focused on this group", Washington's Tom Wilson said.

"When you get this close to the Cup, it's hard", Fleury said. "Yeah, they're a great team, but at the same time we've been off a little bit and slacking defensively and through the neutral zone".

Ovechkin capped his playoff MVP campaign with an early power-play goal, and Devante Smith-Pelly tied it with a full-stretch goal midway through the final period of the Capitals' fourth consecutive victory over the Golden Knights. At The Disco pregame concert, the Golden Knights are a slight favorite in Game 5.

So as the Capitals ground away the dying seconds of Game 5 to beat Vegas 4-3 and claim the championship, let's take a look at how Stanley Cup elation - and disappointment - looked up close. Washington ended up winning 4-3 on a late third-period goal by Lars Eller. "I couldn't hold it together anymore". They got a barn-burner of a finale befitting this thrilling series, with wild shifts of momentum before that freakish clock incident that didn't appear to affect the outcome much.

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With the Stanley Cup in the building at T-Mobile Arena on Thursday, a two-time Cup victor took in the game as well. The Caps were tied for the fifth-longest active Cup drought with Philadelphia, which won it in 1974.

The Vegas Golden Knights did things right straight from the off, with owner Bill Foley hiring former Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee all the way back in 2016. Ovechkin's reactions to goals go viral.

Less than a year ago the Golden Knights had both a general manager and a coach - but nearly no players. The NFL's Philadelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl in February, and baseball's Houston Astros won their first World Series last November. When the horn finally sounds, Ovechkin hopped off the bench in glee, joining his teammates in a huge pile of thrown sticks and helmets by the end boards. George McPhee, who was sacked by the Washington Capitals in 2014 had more than a year to put together his staff and an entire season to scout every National Hockey League player that could become available in last year's expansion draft, and he really did his homework.

In the Eastern Conference Final, the Caps faced tenacious resistance from the Tampa Bay Lightning, but took the upper hand in game 7 to book a ticket in the Stanley Cup Final against the Knights.

Perron actually scored from his backside for the second Vegas goal.

That time had to wait for one of the more weird sequences of the season, as the in-arena clock stopped working with 1:43 left, the in-arena clock stopped working. Eller battled for position near the crease and after Fleury stopped a shot from Brett Connolly, the puck fell right behind the netminder.

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