The Washington Capitals won a long-awaited Stanley Cup Thursday as the Vegas Golden Knights put up an incredible fight, but fell short. Here are the highlights, final score and more from Game 5.
This one was heated before the puck dropped as both teams knew what was on the line. The Vegas Golden Knights needed to defend home ice if they wanted to keep their incredible run alive. Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals could break their curse with a win.
The game got off to a torrid pace following the usual top-quality introduction from the Vegas promotional team. The goaltenders stole the show in the first period, keeping it scoreless even though both sides had scoring chances.
Jakub Vrana opened the scoring in the second period with a shorthanded goal on Marc Andre Fleury to make it 1-0 Capitals. The Knights would answer when Nate Schmidt threw a puck into a crowd that redirected off of Matt Niskanen’s skate and in. It was 1-1 half way through the second period.
Seconds later, the Knights took a bad tripping penalty on Ovechkin and he made them pay for it with a one-timed goal that was a carbon copy of what you’d expect from Ovi, sitting in his office. His 15th of the playoffs put the Caps up 2-1.
Controversy struck at the seven minute mark when Christian Djoos and David Perron were battling in front of Braden Holtby and Tomas Tatar put a puck through the traffic and into the net. The Capitals challenged the play for goaltender interference but it was determined that Djoos initiated the contact and the goal stood. 2-2.
In the final minute of the second period, Reilly Smith scored on a beautiful Alex Tuch pass to put the Knights up 3-2. Chaos ensued as the two teams got physical behind the net after the goal. This game was heated.
The first half of the third period went scoreless until Devante Smith-Pelly broke the drought and tied the game up at three goals a piece. It was Smith-Pelly’s seventh goal of the playoffs, matching his regular season total.
The Capitals struck again, taking the lead with just over seven minutes left when Lars Eller put home a shot that squeaked through Fleury’s pads. It would end up being the Stanley Cup-winning goal.
Contratulations to the Washington Capitals, your 2018 Stanley Cup champions.
3. Braden Holtby
Holtby was as good as he needed to be tonight but was unbelievable through this Capitals playoff run. Especially considering he was not the Capitals starter coming in to the playoffs. Saves like this make him one of the all-time greats.
2. Lars Eller
Eller scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal in the third period of this game. He had a fantastic playoff run, scoring seven goals and adding 11 helpers. Eller becomes the first player from his home nation of Denmark to win a Stanley Cup.
1. Alex Ovechkin
Two number one stars tonight because it’s the Cup. Ovechkin became the Capitals all-time leading playoff scorer with 15 total goals in the 2018 NHL Playoffs He had a goal tonight from his office on the ice and he now has some hardware for said office come next season. Congratulations to Alex Ovechkin on his long-deserved Stanley Cup.
See you in October!