Controversial Perron goal counts; Capitals brawl after Vegas gains lead

Ruben Holloway
June 8, 2018

The Capitals arch nemesis, the Pittsburgh Penguins, took the eventual champs to six games Just like the Jackets did in their first round matchup. And he's just like the rest of us. "But we believed in each other all year".

Ovechkin is unlikely to let that bother him, the Muscovite was quoted as saying in his post-game interview: "Fans, we did it. Get some beers".

They had to revamp the roster last season because of salary cap concerns, and general manager Brian MacLellan wasn't sure what he had after he added some grit here and there and had to trust young players.

Besides the Redskins, the Washington Nationals and Washington Wizards have also come up short in their quest to win a championship in recent years.

And so they did, with a beaming Ovechkin winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs.

From Ovechkin to Oshie and others who waited so long to taste glory with the Capitals organization, this Stanley Cup celebration seemed to be an extra emotional affair and one that won't be forgotten for a long time - by Oshie's dad or anyone else. "I think this moment we were waiting a long, long time". The Golden Knights have had their best success creating havoc in front of Holtby and getting some positive bounces.

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Much of the answer lies in who the owner, Bill Foley, hired as the club's first general manager in the summer of 2016.

The Capitals had a third former Canadien on their roster in defenceman Jakub Jerabek, who was traded from Montreal to Washington on February 21 this year in exchange for a fifth-round pick at the 2019 NHL Draft. When the 33-year-old executive asked for a three-year contract, Pollin agreed but only after telling Poile he'd better do well in the first season or the franchise might fold. Confetti covered fans who filled Capital One Arena, and chants of "We Want The Cup!" became "We Got The Cup!" "That started the kind of change around and turnaround, exactly that goal, because that just doesn't happen with the Capitals in the playoffs". "And he said, 'If I get a chance to go back in, I'm gonna be really good for you.' And he was".

David Perron, who had been a healthy scratch for Game 4, scored his first of the playoffs on a play where he was shoved into Washington's Braden Holtby.

Nicklas Backstrom - The Capitals centre, playing with an injured hand, was on the wrong end of shot metrics (4 for, 19 against, 17.4 CF%, 0-8 scoring chances) and missed an empty net that could have sealed the deal late in the third period, but also had a ridiculous pass to set up Alex Ovechkin for Washington's second goal.

Ovechkin wanted to see Devante Smith-Pelly next. Lars Eller than pounded home a loose puck with 7:37 left after Brett Connolly's shot leaked through Fleury's pads and that stood up as the Cup-winning goal.

It was truth, not fiction.

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The puck finally bounced the right way for the Capitals, who built a 3-1 lead in the Final against Vegas after some rare postseason fortune and wrapped it up Thursday night in Game 5.

"It was a phenomenal year and in a couple days we'll think about that", Knights coach Gerard Gallant said.

They are champions, at last.

"What a great human being, what a great man, what a great father", Oshie said.

The Golden Knights have lost three in a row to Alex Ovechkin and company, including an ugly 6-2 loss on Monday night at Capital One Arena.

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