Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Golden Knights plan to stay alive vs. Capitals

Golden Knights plan to stay alive vs. Capitals

In his 13th season, the Great Eight finally got to hoist the Cup following Washington's 4-3 win over Vegas in Game 5 of the final in T-Mobile Arena.

The Vegas Golden Knights need a victory here to save their season and force a game six on Sunday. It was another thing entirely that a team from Las Vegas did it. Lord Stanley will be in the house Thursday night, as the Caps look to close out the series on the road after a convincing 6-2 win on Monday. Washington is the 19th active franchise to win the Stanley Cup.

"To be honest, I think most of us have never been in this position", said Ovechkin, who could become the first Russian captain to raise the Cup. Confetti covered fans who filled Capital One Arena, and chants of "We Want The Cup!" became "We Got The Cup!"

The biggest winners, of course, are those hardcore Capitals fans who stayed with them all the way through that first year.

Ovechkin, the seven-time victor of the Rocket's Trophy, will be imprinted on hockey's hockey grail for all of eternity.

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"And we were celebrating", Niskanen said, his voice faltering.

You know the place in your mind where you go when you want to smile, when you want to tap into that moment that felt so good? "He did it all for us".

The Capitals have been careful to avoid talk of planning a parade, even as they entered an elimination game against Vegas. But for perhaps the first time, he received plenty of help from his teammates. It's the first time in the series Metro trains will run late for a game outside Washington.

"Me and him have been together and always fighting through a lot of negative things, lots of problems", Ovechkin said. "Getting to score the game victor", said Eller. "We've got to come out strong, take it period by period, and just focus on it one minute at a time".

"It doesn't come easy", Holtby said. "It took years. Years of heartbreak. We've done that all year".

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Vegas Golden Knights left wing David Perron, center, tussles with Washington Capitals defenseman Christian Djoos, right, before scoring on Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby during the second period in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals on Thursday, June 7, 2018, in Las Vegas.

Andre Burakovsky gathered the puck and sent it up to Brett Connolly in the high slot. Eller reached behind him and swept it into the net.

And, when the Golden Knights were taking a break after winning the Western Conference Final over the Winnipeg Jets, a buddy told me, "My wife asked me if I'd DVR'd the game tonight". Ovechkin scored his 15th goal of the postseason during the second period on one of his patented one-timers on the power play. Vegas never got close to a tying goal despite both teams getting an extra chance to rest while the officials checked on the timing. Ovechkin scored 49 goals. The Capitals didn't take this commanding series lead by accident.

But it's the handful of games he attended with Brooke by his side that will forever be imprinted in his mind. When the horn finally sounds, Ovechkin hopped off the bench in glee, joining his teammates in a huge pile of thrown sticks and helmets by the end boards.

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