Say it out loud: The Washington Capitals are Stanley Cup champions
The Capitals brought the Vegas Golden Knights' historic inaugural season to an end on Thursday night in Las Vegas, taking the Stanley Cup Final in five games. For Washington, it's their first championship in franchise history -- a title 44 years in the making. After 13 years, Alex Ovechkin finally got to get his hands (and lips) on the Cup...and he also won the Conn Smythe as MVP of the playoffs for good measure.
For the Golden Knights, it's not the ending they were hoping for, but it's still an incredible accomplishment to reach the Stanley Cup Final in their very first season after joining the NHL as an expansion club this year.
With the raising of the Cup, another NHL season comes to a close and it'll be a long offseason until puck drop next fall. Here's the full playoff bracket, showing how things played out this postseason.
NHL Western Conference Playoff Bracket
The Vegas Golden Knights, who at one point held 500-to-1 odds to win the Stanley Cup, are your Western Conference champs in their inaugural season. Who saw that coming?
- No. 1 Nashville Predators vs. WC Colorado Avalanche (Predators win series 4-2)
- No. 2 Winnipeg Jets vs. No. 3 Minnesota Wild (Jets win series 4-1)
- No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. WC Los Angeles Kings (Golden Knights win series 4-0)
- No. 2 Anaheim Ducks vs. No. 3 San Jose Sharks (Sharks win series 4-0)
- No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 3 San Jose Sharks (Golden Knights win series 4-2)
- No. 1 Nashville Predators vs. No. 2 Winnipeg Jets (Jets win series 4-3)
NHL Eastern Conference Playoff Bracket
The Capitals finally did it! They beat the Penguins and advance to the third round for the first time in the Alex Ovechkin era. Tampa Bay made quick work of the Bruins and look to be the strongest team the East has to offer at this point.
- No. 1 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. WC New Jersey Devils (Lightning win series 4-1)
- No. 2 Boston Bruins vs. No. 3 Toronto Maple Leafs (Bruins win series 4-3)
- No. 1 Washington Capitals vs. WC Columbus Blue Jackets (Capitals win series 4-2)
- No. 2 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. No. 3 Philadelphia Flyers (Penguins win series 4-2)
- No. 1 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 2 Boston Bruins (Lightning win series 4-1)
- No. 1 Washington Capitals vs. No. 2 Pittsburgh Penguins (Capitals win series 4-2)
- No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 2 Winnipeg Jets (Golden Knights win series 4-1)
- No. 1 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 1 Washington Capitals (Capitals win series 4-3)
*Note: WC = wild card team