Washington Capitals win their first-ever Stanley Cup

08 June, 2018, 15:31 | Author: Judy Cobb
  • Washington Capitals Win the Stanley Cup

Over 70,000 people tried to get tickets to attend a Game 5 watch party at Capital One Arena with the hopes that they'll see the Capitals clinch their first Stanley Cup.

But if there's any solace to be found for the suddenly hockey-crazed valley in the immediate aftermath of this loss, it should come in the way the Golden Knights fought. Inspirational. An example of the power of unity. T.J. Oshie had already posed with his wife, his two children, his parents.

Here's a look at just a fraction of what they have to offer.

"It just shows that we have a great group of guys that have a great belief and we stuck with it". "We have been waiting a long, long time, since day one".

In the after-game delirium, fans screamed as they hugged each other in gridlocked streets and drivers honked their horns all over the city, as far away as the K Street corridor of lobbyist power not far from the White House.

They had to revamp the roster last season because of salary cap concerns, and general manager Brian MacLellan wasn't sure what he had after he added some grit here and there and had to trust young players.

"I don't think anybody saw us here", Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said recently.

When they do get around to thinking about the future, and the past, the smiles will eventually come.

Washington captain Alex Ovechkin scored his 15th goal of the post-season and was given the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP.

With 15 goals, 12 assists and 27 points, Ovechkin also won the Conn Smythe.

BC-HKN-Stanley Cup, 1st Ld, 128URGENTCapitals beat Golden Knights 4-3, win their 1st Stanley CupAP Photo NVMT141, NVMT126, NVMT131, NVMT132, NVMT110, NVMT137, NVMT109, NVMT108, NVMT133Eds: APNewsNow.

"It's a great time", Ovechkin said Wednesday. "He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and he doesn't remember a lot of stuff, but you bet your ass he's going to remember this one". They overcame what they called "the Pittsburgh dragon" in round two and got shutouts from goalie Brayden Holtby in Games 6 and 7 to dump Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference final.

"They've had all these really good teams, all of these opportunities that appeared that this could be the year that they could win playoff rounds and compete for the Cup or win the Stanley Cup".

"I'm so happy for the group that has gone through the misery", said Washington coach Barry Trotz, a first-time champ in his 19th season behind an National Hockey League bench and a potential free agent without a contract for next season.

The Capitals know the feeling of playoff disappointment.

Not this time. Devante Smith-Pelly, who came to Washington's training camp last fall without a contract, tied it at 9:52 of the third as he tumbled to the ice.

Lars Eller's rebound goal with 7:37 remaining broke a tie and proved to be the championship-winning tally. Vegas' Brayden McNabb took a penalty just 11 seconds later, and Ovechkin set up in his customary spot in the left faceoff circle to put Nicklas Backstrom's cross-ice pass into a sliver of open net.

It was truth, not fiction.

After Vegas won the Final opener, the Capitals capped their four-game surge by rallying from a third-period deficit in this cathartic Game 5, banishing any memory of playoff failure with clutch goals and rugged play across their lineup.

"Her being a soccer player, she would kick a girl in the shin with one second left in the championship game if that's what it took", Hawley said Wednesday. Then again, it had been an even longer 44 years. Few expected the division title they delivered, and fewer still thought Vegas could challenge for a championship. "Dreaming about it since I was a little kid, obviously".

Neither would anyone else.

Ovi still wants his teammates thinking about the Golden Knights, not that silver trophy.

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