Lars Eller scores Stanley Cup-winning goal for Washington Capitals
08 June, 2018, 12:33 | Author: Tommie Newton
"A very well-deserved Conn Smythe - not only for his goals but for his leadership".
For the Knights, the loss will sting, but also do nothing to the bond the team forged with its fanbase in the wake unspeakable evil on October 1 - some eight days before their first regular-season home game - when a gunman killed 58 people and injured hundreds more at an outdoor concert just over a kilometre from T-Mobile Arena. It was an honourable sendoff for a team that ultimately fell short of its quest to do the impossible, but will still have achieved something that we will be talking about for years. Unfortunately for Vegas, the home team never got close to scoring a tying goal.
They have won three games in a row against the expansion Vegas Golden Knights. Smith-Pelly signed with the Capitals as a free agent last summer after the New Jersey Devils bought out the final season of his two-year, US$2.6-million contract.
"In between the second and third we had the same feeling in our locker room, no-one was panicking and everyone was confident", said Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby.
"I can't explain the way I feel". "He has really brought a lot of players along, and they've played better than they've played anywhere else". The Capitals didn't take this commanding series lead by accident. Thirty-four seconds after that, the Capitals scored again to go ahead 2-1. Defensively, the Vegas Golden Knights are allowing 2.7 goals per game and are killing 81.4 percent of their opponents power plays. Vegas will push with everything they have and keep the game close, but the Capitals find a way like they have all postseason long to break through late and win it all. You're the best hockey player playing today. Eller became the first Dane to win a Cup and the Hockey Hall of Fame was on the ice afterward asking for his stick that scored the winning goal.
The goals kept coming - and from unlikely sources.
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The victory capped a storybook year for the Capitals after years of disappointment and postseason failures, and solidified Ovechkin's status among some of the all-time greats with the first championship of his career.
BC-HKN-Stanley Cup, 1st Ld, 128URGENTCapitals beat Golden Knights 4-3, win their 1st Stanley CupAP Photo NVMT141, NVMT126, NVMT131, NVMT132, NVMT110, NVMT137, NVMT109, NVMT108, NVMT133Eds: APNewsNow.
The Vegas Golden Knights did things right straight from the off, with owner Bill Foley hiring former Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee all the way back in 2016. Ten of Ovechkin's goals came on the road. Smith-Pelly, who had seven goals in 75 games in the regular season, notched his seventh goal in 24 playoff games.
Less than three minutes later, a point shot from Brett Connolly found its way through Fleury's pads and Eller swept the puck in the net. This is their first 3-1 lead at any point in this year's postseason, and any amount of success from Vegas is sure to inspire just the slightest bit of doubt. There aren't many who believe the Golden Knights can do it, which is exactly how they like it.
"It doesn't matter what happened before", Ovechkin said through his gap-toothed grin. "I didn't even know the team".
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