Phillips: Alex Ovechkin takes his place among the all-time greats

Phillips: Alex Ovechkin takes his place among the all-time greats

"You work so hard to get to this point and you want to make it happen", said Capitals head coach Barry Trotz.

Eller was quickest to a loose puck sitting behind Marc-Andre Fleury after Brett Connolly's initial shot went off Knights defenceman Colin Miller and squeezed through the Vegas goalie for his seventh goal of the playoffs. The rest of the period ticked away from there, and Holtby made saves with both skate and stick in the final minute. 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.

The power play goal put Washington up 2-1 midway through the second period.

If they can do that, they have a chance at extending this series at least one more game.

- Yes. I firmly believe Vegas will come out strongly to get the ice tilted in their favor.

The Capitals always had the firepower, with Ovechkin's right-hand man, Nicklas Backstrom, offering up another jaw-dropping assist on the power play Thursday.

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Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin has collected a number of individual accolades over the years, and he added one Thursday night that previously eluded him over his impressive career.

The Capitals had an especially rough history leading into this spring's triumph after joining the league in 1974-75.

The defeat ends the incredible inaugural season of the Golden Knights, who became the NHL's 31st franchise last fall and immediately launched into arguably the greatest debut in modern pro sports history. They've dominated the stat in this series 68-25, and it's one of the reasons Vegas has only five goals in three games after scoring six in Game 1.

The remarkable Golden Knights hadn't lost four consecutive games in their entire inaugural season before the Caps rolled them.

- Their defense has been bad this series, allowing three or more goals in each of the first four games. After so many years of postseason flops and crushing disappointment, these Capitals won their fourth consecutive closeout game with a tenacious third-period comeback. He also registered 12 assists, with his 27 points the second-best playoff total behind teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov. Three different Capitals players scored in the first period - T.J.