By Eric Mann |
The Washington Capitals won their first ever Stanley Cup after defeating the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in Game 5 of the NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals on Thursday in Las Vegas.
The Capitals scored twice in the third period – Lars Eller at 12:23 and Devante Smith-Pelly at 9:52 – and won the first title in the team’s 43rd season. Alex Ovechkin and Jakub Vrana also scored for the Capitals, who last appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals in 1998 when they were swept by the Detroit Red Wings. Braden Holtby made 28 saves in goal for the Capitals, who won the championship series 4 games to 1 against the Golden Knights
Ovechkin was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the playoffs after leading all players with 15 goals and setting a Capitals postseason goals record.
Nate Schmidt, David Perron and Reilly Smith scored for the Golden Knights and Marc-Andre Fleury** had 29 saves for the team, who reached the finals in their first season as an expansion team.
Eric Mann is the communications assistant at the United States Sports Academy.
**Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was nominated for the United States Sports Academy’s May Athlete of the Month honor. Vote for him here.