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Capitals vs. Golden Knights Game Five Recap: Caps and their Captain Clinch First Championship

Lars Eller’s game winning goal brings the Stanley Cup to Washington, DC for the first time in history.

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Washington Capitals at Vegas Golden Knights Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After pushing the Golden Knights to the brink in Game Four the Capitals traveled to Vegas for their franchise’s first chance at clinching the Stanley Cup. A two goal third period would propel Washington to their first championship in franchise history under the lights of Las Vegas.

Here’s Thursday night's Plus/Minus:

Plus: Everything.

Minus: Nothing.

Ten more notes on the game.

  1. Both teams skated well through the game’s opening twenty minutes but neither club could tally a goal in the first.
  2. Early in the second period Jakub Vrana put the Capitals ahead with his 3rd of the postseason. A smart pass from Tom Wilson put Vrana on a breakaway that the Czech winger buried beyond Marc-Andre Fleury’s glove.
  3. Vegas, however, would respond. Former Washington defenseman Nate Schmidt’s wrist shot deflected off of Matt Niskanen’s skate and through Braden Holtby’s legs to tie the score at one.
  4. But the Capitals would respond even quicker (34 seconds). With Brayden McNabb in the penalty box Washington’s Captain ripped home a Nicklas Backstrom pass from his office to put the Capitals ahead once again.
  5. A few minutes past the game’s midway point Tomas Tatar touched a Colin Miller shot on net that created chaos. Within that chaos David Perron pushed the puck into the net to even the contest once again.
  6. Barry Trotz would challenge the goal, citing goaltender interference from Perron against Holtby. After review it was determined that Perron was pushed into Holtby by Christian Djoos and the goal stood.
  7. With only thirty seconds remaining in the second frame Reilly Smith picked up a power play goal to put the Golden Knights ahead 3 to 2. Strong possession from Vegas allowed them to work the puck around the Capitals down low and put the puck behind Holtby.
  8. Halfway through the third Devante Smith-Pelly kicked a Brooks Orpik shot to himself in the slot and dove to deposit the puck behind Fleury. Smith-Pelly began the play with a strong forecheck that ended with him on the ice in the slot, arms raised in celebration.
  9. And with 7:34 to play Lars Eller found a loose puck behind Fleury and shoveled it into the net to put the Capitals ahead 4 to 3. A shot from Brett Connolly found its way through Fleury’s equipment and allowed Eller a can’t miss chance.
  10. Eller’s late tally would stand as the Stanley Cup winner with assists to Connolly and Andre Burakovsky.

Ovechkin would capture the 2018 Conn Smythe trophy.