Capitals beat Knights to capture first Stanley Cup title

Washington Capitals Hoist First Stanley Cup After Dramatic Win Over Vegas

"The amount of respect that the Stanley Cup has. there's nothing like it in any others sport".

The Capitals had previously blown 3-1 leads in a playoff series five times - the most of any club - and had never picked up a victory in the final before Game 2 against Vegas. Lars Eller's double-overtime victor off his right skate kept his team out of a 3-0 hole in the first round. Defensively, the Washington Capitals are allowing 2.9 goals per game and are killing 80.3 percent of their opponents power plays.

After losing Game 1, the Capitals won four straight to win the Cup, outscoring the Golden Knights 16-8 along the way.

"It's like the franchise was star-struck", said David Poile, who was Washington's general manager from 1982-1995.

Every team needs a good face-off man and dependable penalty killer like Eller.

Good thing pictures say 1,000 words.

But surely it's not just the pre-game shows and dazzling lights of Sin City that has led to this phenomenal record? The championship is the first by a Washington professional sports team in the NFL, NBA, NHL or Major League Baseball since the Redskins won the Super Bowl on January 26, 1992, and came 40 years to the day the Bullets won basketball's title.

The team has had more than its share of playoff misery, a seemingly unending series of bad puck luck, hot goaltenders and failed potential that has stymied their playoff expectations year after year. There was no such falloff this time. This is the first Stanley Cup title for Ovechkin, one of the greatest hockey players in modern NHL history and the first Russian player to captain a Stanley Cup champion.

"I'm part of history".

"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. It's just something in it. "He was very comfortable and he was very confident, I think", Backstrom said.

They were underdogs heading into the Final and dropped the first game, but they battled back and took control.

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"We couldn't sell tickets", said Irene Pollin, now 93.

But the team that quickly grew accustomed to defying logic over the course of their magical first season had no answer when it came time to face the Capitals.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz said they had the right combination of skill, toughness and desire to get the job done.

That became the Capitals' unwelcome hallmark.

"To me, that is sort of what happened, the epitome of what has happened to this franchise", said winger-turned-broadcaster Craig Laughlin, who came to Washington in the Langway trade and never left. If you start thinking that we have to win three games, sometimes it gets demoralizing. They're in a better situation than us, that's for sure.

Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 18 shots through two periods and Braden Holtby made 17 saves for the Capitals. Eller becomes the first player from his home nation of Denmark to win a Stanley Cup. We've been waiting a long time.

Washington's Cup-clinching win was its 10th on the road in this postseason, tying the National Hockey League playoff record and illustrating the superior toughness of this team.

After years of postseason futility, the Washington hockey team finally had a breakthrough this season. Washington was able to do what its franchise had failed to do so often throughout its 44-year history and win a closeout game.

Lars Eller's rebound goal with 7:37 remaining broke a tie and proved to be the championship-winning tally. He was the one making the most money.

NOTES: The Knights made two lineup changes from Game 4, inserting Perron and William Carrier while scratching Ryan Reaves and Ryan Carpenter.

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