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For the first time in franchise history, the Washington Capitals will be raising a championship banner to their rafters, as well as raising the Stanley Cup over their heads.

For the first time in 26 years, Washington, D.C. has a champion they can believe in. Year after year of disappointment, first-round exits and missed opportunities have finally come to an end in Washington. The Washington Capitals have beaten the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 by a score of 4-3, taking the series 4-1.

The winning goal came off the stick of Lars Eller, who snuck in behind Marc-Andre Fleury, something the Caps have struggled with in the past. Fueled by earlier goals by Jakob Vrana, Devante Smith-Pelly and an international superstar searching for his first cup, Alexander Ovechkin.

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The Great 8 now has his Cup and a Conn Smythe to boot, becoming the first Russian born captain to lift the Cup. It’s not like he didn’t earn the honors. Ovi tallied 26 points in the playoffs, 8 coming in the Stanley Cup Finals.

It should be said that no one expected the Vegas Golden Knights to get this far, and they deserve all the credit in the world for getting this far. If anyone deserves credit for getting them here it’s Marc-Andre Fleury. Cast out of Pittsburgh, deemed past his prime, Fleury showed up in the biggest way for the Knight. Standing on his head to keep them in games was the least impressive thing he did this season. Marc-Andre Fleury has proven that sometimes talent doesn’t fade, it ages like a fine wine.

However, Hockey fans around the world will be patting Golden Knights fans on the back and saying, “this feeling doesn’t go away, you just hope that next year you don’t have to feel it.”

Also, when booing Gary Bettman, you have to really take a deep breath and let him have it.

The Washington Capitals have felt that sting of defeat for years, but now their moment has arrived. Let the champagne flow, the light posts to be climbed, and tears to shed. This is the moment you have waited for.

A hearty congratulations to the Washington Capitals! You’ve done it!

And to Alexander Ovechkin, congratulations on climbing to the top of the mountain.

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