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Washington Capitals Win 2018 Stanley Cup - Alex Ovechkin Wins MVP

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  • Washington Capitals Win 2018 Stanley Cup - Alex Ovechkin Wins MVP

    Capitals beat Golden Knights 4-3, win their 1st Stanley Cup

    LAS VEGAS -- Alex Ovechkin put both hands to his head and screamed while he left the bench and skated into the thick of the Washington Capitals' joyous celebration.

    And right before Ovechkin hoisted the Stanley Cup, the Washington captain put both hands on his head again in a gesture of disbelieving ecstasy.

    You can believe it, Ovi. So can the Washington fans whose championship drought is finally over.

    After striving through 13 of his franchise's 43 seasons, the Russian superstar and the long-suffering Capitals are sitting on top of hockey for the very first time.

    "It doesn't matter what happened before," Ovechkin said through his gap-toothed grin. "We just won it."

    Lars Eller scored the tiebreaking goal with 7:37 to play, and the Capitals claimed their first NHL title with a 4-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.

    Ovechkin capped his playoff MVP campaign with an early power-play goal, and Devante Smith-Pelly tied it with a full-stretch goal midway through the final period of the Capitals' fourth consecutive victory over the Golden Knights.

    "We did it," said Ovechkin, whose 15 playoff goals set a franchise record. "That's all that matters. Look at the smiles on my teammates. This is something you'll never forget. This moment, I'll remember for the rest of my life. I'm so happy. It's unbelievable."

    Vegas' incredible expansion season finally ended, and so did the Capitals' wait for a title since their debut in 1974. But after so many years of crushing disappointment for a team with a lengthy history of postseason failure, these Caps confidently won their fourth consecutive closeout game with a tenacious third-period comeback in Vegas.

    Ovechkin and his teammates are Washington's first championship hockey team -- and their city's first champion in a major pro sport since the Redskins won the Super Bowl in early 1992.

    After Ovechkin accepted the Conn Smythe Trophy, he received the Cup from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Ovechkin shouted "Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!" before skating away and hoisting the prize over his head for a victory lap in front of thousands of red-clad fans.

    When a succession of teammates finally got the Cup back to Ovi, he handed it to Ted Leonsis, the Caps' owner since 1999.
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