The city ended a quarter-century of futility Thursday night as the Washington Capitals beat the Las Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 to win the NHL's Stanley Cup. The Vegas goaltender let it leak through his pads, and Eller was waiting behind him to score on the wide-open net. The team scored in the third period or overtime in 20 of 24 games in the playoffs.
The lead lasted less than four minutes as former Capital defenseman Nate Schmidt scored first for the Knights, on a shot from above the right circle that careened off Matt Niskanen's skate.
The Capitals had reached the Cup Final once previously, in 1998, when they were swept by the Detroit Red Wings.
The Capitals soared to victory on the strength of two third-period goals after they went down 3-2 on Smith's goal in the second. After a scoreless first, these two teams came out firing.
The Golden Knights' ascent began about a year ago, when they selected one player from each team in the National Hockey League expansion draft.
"Obviously, this emotion is just unbelievable", Ovechkin said. Goalie Braden Holtby stopped 28 of 31 shots against him, including three of four attempts during power plays.
Ovechkin and his friends had other ideas. Expansion teams aren't expected to still be playing this close to the summer solstice-just ask the Capitals, who won just eight games as an expansion team in 1974-but Vegas rolled on.
Alexander Ovechkin is one of the greatest of all time now, and there are no more caveats.
The Capitals had to fend off a flurry of Vegas chances midway through the first period.
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