Alex Ovechkin lifts the Stanley Cup.

The Washington Capitals have finally won the Stanley Cup. It’s been a long wait for the franchise, which came into existence in 1974 and had only even made the Stanley Cup Final once before, back in 1998. It’s also been a long wait for captain Alex Ovechkin, who’s been a Capitals’ star and one of the league’s best players since drafted first overall by Washington in 2004, but has endured plenty of playoff heartbreak. And, along with Lars Eller and Devante Smith-Pelly, Ovechkin played a critical role in giving the Capitals a 4-3 win in Game 5 in Vegas Thursday, producing a 4-1 series win and Washington’s first Cup.

This one was going well for Washington at first, as the Capitals led 1-0 and then 2-1. That second goal came from Ovechkin himself on the power play:

The Golden Knights battled back to tie the game, though, and then took the lead near the end of the second period on a power-play goal of their own, which then turned into quite the scrum:

But the Capitals brought a lot of pressure to start the third period, and they tied the game on a shot from a falling Smith-Pelly, who has scored crucial goal after crucial goal this postseason:

They then took the lead thanks to a shot sneaking through Marc-Andre Fleury’s pads, and Eller being there to capitalize:

There were plenty of tense moments after that, including a crazy final minute where the in-arena clock froze and the scorebug was briefly pulled while both teams were rushing around like crazy.

But the Capitals hung on for the win, and the expression on Ovechkin’s face told it all.

Ovechkin was the leading goalscorer in the playoffs this year with 14, and added 12 assists. He was later awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. But it was finally getting to lift the Cup that looked really special to him, and understandably so.

[Matt Clapp on Clippit]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing.