Washington Capitals win first Stanley Cup; Ovechkin earns Conn Smythe Trophy

Posted June 08, 2018

Alex Tuch skated away from the melee-inflicted dog pile that followed a goal he orchestrated and toward the penalty box nodding his head.

The Caps couldn't win a title without a little weirdness, however: The game clock stopped working on the T-Mobile Arena scoreboards during the final minutes, and the Capitals angrily protested while they played on. As the expectations soared, the disappointments kept piling up until this season when many gave up hope of them ever winning. Washington was able to do what its franchise had failed to do so often throughout its 44-year history and win a closeout game.

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.

Before this spring, the Capitals had made it past the second round of the playoffs just twice and reached the final once, when Tikkanen and Co. were swept by the Red Wings.

"It's just like a dream", Ovechkin said after the game.

On Wednesday, for the team's first practice in Las Vegas since being pushed to the brink of elimination, fans decked out in team jerseys and hats and knights helmets and kids with hockey sticks or pucks in their hands packed the Knights' practice facility before they even took the ice.

"When you get this close to the Cup, it's hard", Fleury said.

The chances for major professional sports titles simply don't come around very often. Their inaugural season makes for some impressive reading.

The city hasn't had a team long enough to know true torment?

Israel shares key files from Iran nuclear cache with Germany, France, UK
The supreme leader said that if the three countries were unable to meet these demands, Iran would resume its enrichment of uranium.

According to oddsmakers, the Golden Knights are a -145 favorite on the moneyline.

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

"It shows that you can do it", Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. With him being on the first forward line and the first power-play unit, this is another case where they just need MORE from him.

League veteran Alex Ovechkin not only secured his elusive first Stanley Cup win as a player, but took out the Conn Smythe trophy after being adjudged the playoffs MVP.

Unlike their Game 3 loss, the Golden Knights weren't struggling to find solid offensive chances.

This doesn't seem like a series that should end in five games.

Reilly Smith scored a go-ahead goal late in the second period for the Golden Knights, who won seven of their first eight home playoff games before dropping the last two. Playoff hero Devante Smith-Pelly, who'd scored just seven goals in the regular season, scored his seventh goal of the postseason on a attractive diving shot. It was nearly exactly a year ago that he walked across a stage in the same arena as an expansion draft pick.

Besides the Redskins, the Washington Nationals and Washington Wizards have also come up short in their quest to win a championship in recent years. This time, "it wasn't supposed to happen" means that the Capitals shocked the world and won the Stanley Cup. The Nashville Predators, Winnipeg Jets and even the surprising Vegas Golden Knights were the sexy picks out of the Western Conference, while some backed the Penguins for a three-peat or even the Tampa Bay Lightning.

For all the highlights from Thursday's game, check out the recap in our live blog. The Golden Knights had no intention of succumbing. They dropped the first two games at home aginast Columbus and went double overtime in Game 3 before finally winning to start a run of four straight victories.