After 13 long years, and over 160 different teammates, Washington Capitals Captain Alexander Ovechkin hoisted the Stanley Cup before his team at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas last night. And while the crowd was packed with Vegas Golden Knight fans, it became apparent when the Great Eight went to collect the Conn Smyth Trophy, for most valuable player throughout the playoffs, just how many Capital fans were there to support the team.
Game 5 started just like any other playoff game in Vegas, a fantastic opening ceremony, followed by a tightly-contested first period that ended scoreless. But the score would open up rather nicely as the second period continued; a breakaway goal by Washington’s Vrana off a pass from Wilson, a deflection for Vegas’ Schmidt, a one-time classic from Ovechkin off a saucer pass from Backstrom, and bank from Perron cause the game to turn from a scoreless affair, into a 2-2 shootout in a matter of 6 minutes and 32 seconds. Finally, the period would end with a late goal by Golden Knights’ Smith with 29 seconds remaining.
The Vegas Golden Knights would do everything from that point forward to hold-off the Capitals in an attempt to make the series 3-2, and send the series back to Washington. But with a game-tying goal from Smith-Pelly at 9:52, and a late go-ahead goal from Eller at 12:23, the tables were turned, ane suddenly it was Vegas that was in desperation, down 3-2. This would go on to be the final score.
The Washington Capitals successfully achieved the franchises first Stanley Cup in it’s 44 years of history. Brayden Holtby made 28 saves in the clincher, which would also be his first championship as well. Alexander Ovechkin has scored 607 goals, and 1,122 points before his first championship, while garnering an 11-time All-Star vote, 3 Hart Trophies for the leagues most valuable player, and an uncountable amount of Rocket Richard Trophies, undisputedly becoming one of the greatest players of all time in the NHL.
Now begins the long wait for the next season…