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The Great 8: Alex Ovechkin crowned playoff MVP

The Great 8: Alex Ovechkin crowned playoff MVP

The Capitals have won their first Stanley Cup championship, beating the Vegas Golden Knights in five games.

This marked the first appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals appearance for the Capitals since 1998, when Washington was swept by the Detroit Red Wings in four games. As dumb as that sounds, if the breaks go the other way Thursday night, the Capitals might have to wait at least one more game.

- The Capitals had three different players with two or more assists in Game 4, a trend which they haven't seen this series, but had at times earlier in the postseason.

Fellow Nats teammate Max Scherzer joined Zimmerman inside Capital One Arena for the big game.

Reilly Smith had a goal and an assist, and Nate Schmidt and David Perron also scored for Vegas. After the game, league commissioner Gary Bettman described it as "the best first year any team has ever had".

Now, their legacies won't be hindered by a lack of a Stanley Cup.




The play was reviewed for goalie interference, but eventually stood and tied the game 2-2 late in the second period.

And with Ovechkin in the penalty box for tripping in the final minute of the wild second period, Smith scored into a mostly open net after controlling a pass from Alex Tuch. Eller then fired the rebound into the vacated net.

Moments later John Carlson blasted another slap shot, but Fleury shuffled and kicked it aside with his left leg pad to keep the game scoreless.

Eller outmuscled Vegas defender Luca Sbisa for the puck, which was sacked at the net by Brett Connolly and squirted through the pads of Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury before it stopped on the edge of the crease. Carrier hadn't played since the second round against San Jose, while Perron was a healthy scratch for only one game.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz is on the brink of winning his first Cup, in his 19th season as a head coach, his fourth in Washington. The Caps were tied for the fifth-longest active Cup drought with Philadelphia, which won it in 1974.

The spectacular individual effort tied the game 3-3 with just over 10 minutes to play in the game.

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