The Stanley Cup Playoffs are always full of amazing, electrifying moments for every participating team, regardless of who comes out on top. For the Washington Capitals, these moments were plentiful, as they finally made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, defeating the Vegas Golden Knights in five games to hoist the trophy. Pulling from every game in this year’s playoffs, here are the top five moments for the Washington Capitals.
Number 5: Nicklas Backstrom tips in the overtime-winner in Game 5 to give Washington the 3-2 series lead against Columbus
Talk about electrifying. Just two games into the series all hope had already seemed lost, before the Caps pulled away in Game 3 with an overtime win thanks to the heroics of Lars Eller. Game 4 had a similar must-win feel in which Washington once again came out on top. This is where we arrive at Game 5, at home, for the series lead. This one once again went to overtime, where a point shot from Dmitry Orlov was deflected by Backstrom to take a 3-2 series lead, and as you could imagine, the entire arena went absolutely bananas.
Number 4: Alex Ovechkin opens the scoring in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against Tampa Bay
In Game 7s, it is always important for leaders to have big games, and that is exactly what Alex Ovechkin did right from the first puck drop. After a monster hit by Tom Wilson on Chris Kunitz, the Caps marched into the offensive zone on a three-on-two when Ovechkin ripped a one-timer right through the Lightning goaltender, awakening the Capitals bench and silencing the Tampa fans.
Number 3: Evgeny Kuznetsov series-clinching goal against Pittsburgh
This one was a moment Capitals fans had been waiting for a long time to see. In overtime of Game 6, after a Sidney Crosby turnover, Alex Ovechkin fed Kuznetsov, who raced through the middle of the ice and simply slid the puck between the legs of goalie Matt Murray, and the celebration mayhem followed. The demons had finally been excised.
Number 2: Braden Holtby’s game-saving stop on Alex Tuch in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against Vegas
With just under two minutes left in Game 2 of the Cup final, Vegas dumped the puck into the Washington zone, where it took a crazy bounce right in front of Holtby right to the stick of Cody Eakin, who made a pass across the crease to Alex Tuch, who seemed to have a yawning cage to shoot at… right until Braden Holtby made the save of his career, that is. As Tuch shot, Holtby slammed his stick to the ice and made a miraculous paddle save, securing the win for Washington.
Number 1: Alex Ovechkin finally lifts the Stanley Cup
It was a scene Capitals fans had been waiting a very long time to witness. The game had ended, and it was time for the proud captain to finally receive his greatest prize. The joy and excitement on the face of Ovechkin made this cup victory one of the sweetest cup hoists for an individual player in a very long time.
Photo credits: Alex Ovechkin, Stanley Cup champion. (Getty Images)