Photo Courtesy of Jeff Bottari of Getty Images
The Capitals finally climb the mountain, as they defeat the Golden Knights 4-3 to win first ever Stanley Cup
By Chris Yackel
It finally has happened. A moment that Washington Capitals fans have been waiting for 44 years. A moment guys like Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom have been waiting for 12 years. After years of playoff disappointment and heartaches and ups and downs. The Washington Capitals are Stanley Cup champions.
The first period saw a lot of back and forth action on both sides. Both teams came out fast paced and revved up. Both teams had great chances in the first period, to get the first goal of the game, but neither did. The best opportunity came off the stick of the Great 8 Alex Ovechkin who hit the post on a one timer and nearly put Caps up top first. Washignton might have had the upper hand in the first, but it was slight as Vegas did not have a bad period by any means.
If the first period was considered a feeling out stage for both teams the second period was anything, but that. It had a total of five goals and was action packed to say the least. It all started when Jakub Vrana scored on a partial breakaway to put the Caps up 1-0, 6:24 into the period. However, this lead would not last long. Vegas would later respond as Nate Schmidt threw a puck on net and it deflected off the skate of Matt Niskanen and past Braden Holtby to tie the game 1-1.
The Caps just seconds later would be put on the power play as Alex Ovechkin was tripped up as he had a great scoring before the infraction. The Caps power-play would go to work and the result would be something we’ve all seen hundreds of times. Nicklas Backstrom laid a beautiful saucer pass cross ice to the Great 8, who one timed it in his typical spot into the net. That gave the Caps a 2-1 lead.
Later on David Perron would even it up on a bit of a controversial goal. Perron was in front of the net and was shoved into goaltender Braden Holtby tripping him up in process. The puck deflected off him from a shot by Tomas Tatar. It was reviewed, but the right call was made as the score was evened 2-2.
With nearly thirty seconds left in the second period, Reilly Smith gave the Golden Knights a 3-2 lead on a beautiful cross crease feed from Alex Tuch. There was a major scuffle after the goal as both teams were very heated going into the second intermission.
The third period saw the Capitals tie the game on a goal by Devante Smith-Pelly and later saw them take the lead on a goal by Lars Eller. Vegas pushed for a game tying goal, but were unsuccessful. Alex Ovechkin would not be denied on this night a date with Lord Stanley. The Washington Capitals are the Stanley Cup Champions.
I don’t care who you are. You can’t feel nothing but happy for Alex Ovechkin. This guy has been constantly doubted and killed by the media for lack of playoff success, even though it was never completely his fault. Now he can put all the doubters and haters to bed. Alex Ovechkin is a Stanley Cup champion. No one deserves it more than him. This Capitals team proved all the experts wrong. The common joke surrounded by this team was that going into the playoffs many would say it was “Caps Year” and they would lose. Now it is no longer a joke. It is indeed the Caps Year. Unbelievable.
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