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The Washington Capitals beat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 on Thursday night’s Game 5 to win their first Stanley Cup title at the T-Mobile Arena.
This achievement marks the team’s first major win since 1992. Alex Ovechkin, Jakub Vrana, Devante Smith-Pelly, and Lars Eller all scored goals for the Capitals. Ovechkin, the current Washington Capitals captain and central leader, also took home the Conn Smythe Trophy after being named as the Most Valuable Player. Ovechkin made 15 playoff goals, a franchise record, and 26 points.
Since the team’s formation, the Washington Capitals only made it to the Stanley Cup finals twice. In 1998, the Capitals vied fought against the Detroit Red Wings, but the team failed to win a single game.
The championship win of the Capitals did not come on a silver platter as they had to fight tooth-and-nail against the Golden Knights. Vrana opened the scoring for the Capitals when he hit a goal in the seventh minute before Golden Knight defenseman Nate Schmidt evened things up at 1-1, three minutes later.
With the game hanging in the balance, Ovechkin showed off his MVP skill when he made a goal in the 11th minute of the second quarter. The Golden Knights were quick to retaliate as David Perron and Reilly Smith answered with a goal each to give the home squad a 3-2 lead.
The Capitals made every effort to pound the defense of the Golden Knights in the final canto. Their defensive effort paid golden dividends as Smith-Pelly tied things up at 3-3 with a goal in the 10th minute.
Eller scored the title-clinching goal in the 13th minute of the third period, catapulting the Capitals to a complete comeback and grab its first title. The Golden Knights won Game 1, but the Capitals took the Cup and ended the series 4-1.
“[Fleury] was so far out I couldn’t get in front of him, which is usually where the rebound comes. So I got behind him and the puck just squeaks through. Usually, Connolly shoots between the legs, and it was just at the right place at the right moment.” Eller expressed.
The championship victory also made Eller the first Denmark-born athlete in the National Hockey League to win the Stanley Cup. Eller previously played for the Montreal Canadiens before being traded to the Capitals for two second-round picks of the 2016 NHL draft.
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– NHL News