LAS VEGAS, NV (WWBT) - The Washington Capitals have defeated the Vegas Golden Knights, 4-3, to win the franchise's first ever Stanley Cup.
Washington dropped the first game of the series, but rallied to win four straight contests, wrapping up the series-clinching victory on the road.
Both teams came out aggressive in Game 5, but remained scoreless in the first period.
Jakub Vrána broke the stalemate for the Capitals at 13:36 in the second period, following an errant shot by the Knights.
The Knights tied the game up shortly after at 10:20 with a shot redirected off a skate - only to watch as Capitals' Alex Ovechkin scored less than a minute later at 9:46.
But the Knights were not going to give up, and they tied the game again at 7:04. The Capitals challenged, claiming interference, but the goal stands.
Then, during a power play with 28 seconds left in the second period, the Knights scored again - which launched an all-out brawl by the goal that took several minutes to break up and sort out.
The Capitals tied the game back up when Devante Smith-Pelly scored at 10:08 in the third period, bringing the game to 3-3. Then at 7:37, Lars Ellers scored to bring the Capitals back ahead 4-3.
Braden Holtby managed to defend against the Knights as time ran out (and even froze on the scoreboard at one point!), and Capitals made history Thursday night.
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. During recent years, the franchise became known for its regular season heroics, but inability to succeed in the playoffs.
The championship is also sweep for Washington sports fans in that it snaps a drought of more than 26 years since the last time a professional team from the nation's capital won a major sports title. The Redskins' Super Bowl XXVI win in January of 1992 was the last DC squad to win a championship.
The Capitals' Stanley Cup victory also comes on the 40th anniversary of the Washington Bullets' last NBA crown (now the Wizards). The Bullets' topped the Seattle SuperSonics on June 7, 1978, to win the championship.
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