Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Washington Capitals win Stanley Cup after beating Vegas Golden Knights 4-3

Washington Capitals Hoist First Stanley Cup After Dramatic Win Over Vegas Playoff MVP Alex Ovechkin leads Washington Capitals to their first Stanley Cup championship
Tamara Craig | 08 June, 2018, 15:31

"Finally. With us being part of the Caps for 15 years, I'm really happy for them", Poile said.

This was the first expansion draft in the NHL since 2000, when the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild entered the league but was wildly more successful - both those teams finished bottom of their respective divisions in their inaugural seasons.

The Washington Capitals are on the brink of raising the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history.

Oshie became sort of a household name in 2014, when he scored four goals for Team USA in an eight-round shootout win for Team USA over Russia at the Sochi Olympics, including the game-winner that put the US over the Alex Ovechkin-led Russians.

Back in Washington, thousands of red-clad fans flooded the streets around a jam-packed Capital One Arena to see the District's first professional sports title in 91 seasons.

That success has finally come for the 32-year-old goal-scoring machine, being named finals MVP to cap off another record-breaking season. "Even when they got an extra timeout when the clock broke our guys were like, we got this". He was instrumental in Washington's 6-2 demolition of the Golden Knights in Game 4, when he registered four assists to tie a single-game Stanley Cup Final record.

Washington captain Alex Ovechkin scored 15 goals in the post season, including one in tonight's Game 5.

"You should be a role model", Cherry said at the time.

- Yes on this one for me. It would end up being the Stanley Cup-winning goal.

No one in the building thought he'd have the chance to give up a Stanley Cup-winning goal in virtually the same spot.

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Besides the Redskins, the Washington Nationals and Washington Wizards have also come up short in their quest to win a championship in recent years.

Goaltender Braden Holtby, superb all postseason, held off a furious charge by the Knights in the final 7 minutes, ending a game that had already ensured years of business for area cardiologists.

Bettman was asked about it during an NBC interview during the first intermission of Game 5 and said the league's "competitive balance shows anything is possible".

Moments later, Oshie found him. The Caps challenged for goalie interference, but were denied. The scoring went back and forth until the end of the second period. The teams then engaged in a brawl behind the net, reflecting the unbearable tension with the Cup on the line.

After securing victory, the ice was overrun with players and families. "This is wonderful", Smith-Pelly said. "Even after the [second] period, we knew we just have to push it and get the result done".

"We knew that the team was good, but with so much change you never know what to expect", he told Oake.

Moments later, the Knights struggled to keep up with the Caps' puck movement and left Brett Connolly open for a shot. The Golden Knights were 10-0 in this postseason when leading after two periods, but the Capitals overcame that number too.

The game-winner came off the stick of Lars Eller at the 12:23 mark of the third period as he pounced on a loose puck that squeezed by Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. When that Stanley Cup emerges from that team plane in Washington, the party will be ON. The Caps were tied for the fifth-longest active Cup drought with Philadelphia, which won it in 1974. Carrier hadn't played since the second round against San Jose, while Perron was a healthy scratch for only one game.

Ovechkin, whose hair has gone from jet black to salt-and-pepper gray through his otherwise otherwordly career, seemed destined to become hockey's version of Charles Barkley.

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