LAS VEGAS – The Washington Capitals are Stanley Cup Champions for the first time in franchise history.

The Capitals defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 at T-Mobile Arena to capture their first title in the 44-year history of the franchise. Team captain Alex Ovechkin was named the MVP of the series after scoring a team-record 15 goals.

“It’s just unbelievable,” he told NBC moments after the win. “I don’t know what to say. It’s just unbelievable.”

After a scoreless first period, Washington opened the scoring in the second frame. Jakub Vrana put the visiting team up a goal with a shot that beat Knights goaltender Marc Andre-Fleury at the 6:24 mark. Nate Schmidt tied the score with a goal just over three minutes later.

Ovechkin gave the Capitals the lead once again with a pretty wrist shot at 10:24 but the Knights took a 3-2 lead into the locker room for intermission with back-to-back goals from David Perron and Reilly Smith seven minutes apart.

The final frame would belong to the Capitals. They outshot Vegas 33-31 for the game and Lars Eller’s goal with just over seven minutes remaining would clinch the Cup for the D.C area, giving them their first championship in 26 years.

The Capitals earned their first Cup in thrilling and dramatic fashion. Washington defeated Columbus, defending champions Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, and finally put an end to the magical season for the expansion team, the Golden Knights.

Critics doubted the Capitals for years and once the final horn sounded, there would be smiles and tears.

And for good reason. The Capitals have waited 44 years. Now, they are champions.

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