Washington Capitals win 1st Stanley Cup over newcomer Vegas

Washington Capitals Hoist First Stanley Cup After Dramatic Win Over Vegas

Washington Capitals Hoist First Stanley Cup After Dramatic Win Over Vegas

Washington-area Caps fans jammed into Capital One Arena to view Game 5 tonight.

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. But after so many years of crushing disappointment for a team with a lengthy history of postseason failure, these Caps confidently won their fourth consecutive closeout game with a tenacious third-period comeback in Vegas. Arguably the best home-ice advantage in the National Hockey League will be out in full force and Las Vegas has show perseverance all season. The referees let the goal stand after reviewing the play. The Golden Knights made it interesting in the third period with goals by James Neal and Reilly Smith, but Washington quickly put it away in the minutes thereafter. They got clutch goaltending from Brayden Holtby, including his miracluous paddle save off Alex Tuch in Game 2 that seems to be the turning point of the series when viewed in the rear-view mirror.

However, Ovechkin, one of the game's most decorated players, is still missing a Stanley Cup from his resume. The expansion Golden Knights are hoping to extend their stunning, record-breaking season.

The Capitals have been careful to avoid talk of planning a parade, even as they entered an elimination game against Vegas. Defensively, the Vegas Golden Knights are allowing 2.7 goals per game and are killing 81.4 percent of their opponents power plays.

Washington struck first, almost seven minutes into the second period, when Czech forward Jakub Vrana scored on a breakaway with a wrist shot over Fleury's left elbow. "So, that's all that matters", Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin told the NBC broadcast.

David Perron pulled Vegas into the second tie of the period. The Capitals are 1-5 in their last six Thursday games. But with three chances to get one win, Ovechkin and his teammates want to seize their very first opportunity for the clincher on the Las Vegas ice.

Washington has taken a 1-0 lead in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against Vegas.

After a scoreless first period that featured a shot by Ovechkin than clanged off the right post, the teams traded four goals over the span of 6 1/2 minutes midway through the second period.

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"I think there were a lot of series where maybe Washington got eliminated, [Ovechkin] had great series", said defenseman Brooks Orpik, who joined the Capitals from the Penguins in 2014.

While Trotz acknowledged Ovechkin's play and how much he's meant to the franchise, he said Kuznetsov single-handedly took over games for the Capitals and proved to be just as valuable during their championship run. He came to Vegas in the expansion draft and found a new lease on life, becoming the face of the franchise off the ice and the backbone on the ice. When that Stanley Cup emerges from that team plane in Washington, the party will be ON.

And so when the Caps had completed their Game 5 comeback and friends and family lined up to take photos after the game, Tim Oshie walked slowly along the ice.

After years of postseason futility, the Washington hockey team finally had a breakthrough this season. "In Canada, we try to act - most of the players try to act after you. you celebrate, (Ovechkin) celebrates".

The lack of success and the burden to carry the Capitals to a championship would fall on Ovechkin's shoulders.

Vrana opened the scoring when he broke in alone off a nice outlet pass by Tom Wilson and fired a shot over Fleury's glove for his third goal of the playoffs.

And the bet is that this is a franchise that won't have to wait 43 years to raise a Stanley Cup of its own.

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