The face of the Capitals' franchise, who became the face of these playoffs as a skating meme, became the first-ever Russian-born captain to hoist the Stanley Cup.
Ovechkin, who turns 33 later this year, has been among the most exciting and productive players in his sport since joining the Caps in 2005. Thanks to some opportunistic plays and more than a few lucky breaks, the Golden Knights carried a 3-2 lead into the third period. Somewhere, on aging laptops, lie auto-saved versions and WordPress drafts of the Nationals' triumphant Game 5 victories, of the Wizards getting past the second round, of the Capitals beating the Penguins.
The Capitals had not advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs since the 1998 Cup final when they were swept by Detroit, but defeated Columbus, arch-rival Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay before downing expansion Vegas this spring.
She and Mike Fisher stood behind the last row in section 18 and stayed hopeful the Knights could win the game and extend the series.
"It doesn't come easy", Holtby said. Thirty-four seconds after that, the Capitals scored again to go ahead 2-1. It's been 26 years since a major Washington professional sports franchise has won a championship.
The Capitals had an especially rough history leading into this spring's triumph after joining the league in 1974-75.
As Commissioner Gary Bettman presented the Stanley Cup to the Capitals, Amber Fuhriman, 31, remained proud of the Golden Knights' run from expansion team to the Cup Final in their inaugural season.
Less than a year ago the Golden Knights had both a general manager and a coach - but nearly no players. The problem was the Golden Knights couldn't finish the opportunities, including three shots off the goal post, and the Capitals went 3-for-3 on their chances.
Washington won the series 4-1, capturing the final four games. Fleury has had an incredible bounce-back season between the pipes, posting a.927 save percentage in 46 regular season games - and elevating this to.929 in the playoffs. The Golden Knights answered back when Nate Schmidt shot a puck into traffic that redirected off Washington defenceman Matt Niskanen's skate.
And the adulation was quickly spread to longtime friend and center Nicklas Backstrom, who took the Cup from Ovechkin and was joined by him for part of his twirl around the ice with hockey's holy grail.
As Ovechkin lifted the Cup, he was asked to describe the physical feeling, but his response might as well have been about the emotional weight, the one we saw lift from his shoulders in a series of GIFs that kept on giving, all throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With him being on the first forward line and the first power-play unit, this is another case where they just need MORE from him. 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.
The ice may have been a factor - temperatures in Las Vegas hit 97 degrees, and the buidling was warmer than usual at faceoff. David Perron scored Vegas' second goal with seven minutes to go in the second period.
If Vegas wins and avoids elimination, the Capitals will host Game 6 on Sunday.
The Knights got beat by a good team, Butler said.