Capitals

Capitals

There was no shortage of scoring for the Washington Capitals en route to their first Stanley Cup championship. From Evgeny Kuznetsov's overtime winner against Pittsburgh to Devante Smith-Pelly's game-tying goal in Game 5 of the Final, the Caps made every goal count, regardless of whether it was scored crashing the net or on a highlight-reel breakaway.

Some goals were prettier than others for the Caps, but all of them shared the same significance and kept the season alive en route to them finally ending their 44-year Stanley Cup championship drought. And without critical tallies from all four lines, despite having Braden Holtby between the pipes and Alex Ovechkin leading the charge, the Capitals wouldn't have made it far.

With that being said and the 2019 playoffs on the horizon, we're counting down the top-20 goals from the Caps' historic 2018 playoff run that D.C. fans will remember for a lifetime.

Top 20 Caps goals from the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs:

20. Alex Chiasson's Game 6 goal vs. Pittsburgh

With Pittsburgh leading 1-0 in a critical Game 6, Alex Chiasson scored the game-tying goal that would eventually put an end to the Caps' second-round exit skid.

19. Andre Burakovsky's second Game 7 goal vs. Tampa

Andre Burakovsky struck twice against the Lightning in Game 7 to secure a 4-0 win and a trip to the Cup Final. His second goal was the most important for the Caps.

 

18Matt Niskanen's Game 3 tally vs. Pittsburgh

Matt Niskanen tied Game 3 at three in the third in what would turn into a 4-3 Capitals victory and put Washington up 2-1 in the second-round series.

17. Devante Smith-Pelly's Game 4 goal vs. Vegas

Devante Smith-Pelly scored in the first period against the Golden Knights to put the Caps up 3-0 early and secure an eventual 6-3 win for a 3-1 series lead.

16. Alex Ovechkin scores early in Game 2 vs. Pittsburgh

The Caps needed to win Game 2 against the Penguins after dropping the first game of the series, and Alex Ovechkin led the way and opened the scoring.

15. Ovechkin makes it 1-0 in Game 3 of the Cup Final

With the Cup Final series tied 1-1, Alex Ovechkin opened the scoring in Game 3 against Vegas on a falling play that would lead to a 3-1 victory.

14. Smith-Pelly strikes in Game 6 against Columbus

Devante Smith-Pelly's series-clinching tally in Game 6 helped Washington advance to the second round of the 2018 postseason.

13. Smith-Pelly grows the lead in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final vs. Vegas

Devante Smith-Pelly proved to be pretty clutch. He capitalized on a Golden Knights turnover to toss the puck top shelf over Fleury in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.

12. Oshie gives the Caps a lead in Game 6 against the Lightning

Oshie's goal not only put the Caps ahead, but it proved to be the game-winner against Tampa Bay in a must-win Game 6.

11. Andre Burakovsky's statement Game 7 vs. Tampa Bay

Burakovsky's second goal during Game 7 already made its way into the countdown at No. 19, but his first goal that late May day lands at No. 11 on our list.

10. Brooks Orpik's Game 2 game-winner

In what was only his third playoff goal in 146 games, Brooks Orpik helped quiet the ghosts of the team's past with the game-winning goal in the Caps' 3-2 win in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. 

9. Vrana scores in Game 5 against Pittsburgh

Vrana’s Game 5 goal against the Penguins capped a 3-point night that earned him a much more significant role in the remainder of the postseason.

 

8. Kuznetsov's game-tying tally in Game 5 against Pittsburgh

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored on the backhand to tie Game 5 against the Penguins, which would ultimately spark a Caps' victory and give Washington a 3-2 series lead.

7. Backstrom's Game 5 OT winner gives Caps series lead over Columbus

Nicklas Backstrom scored on a deflection to win Game 5 against Columbus in overtime, giving the Capitals a 3-2 series lead.

6. Ovechkin opens scoring in Game 7 against Tampa Bay

On a classic one-timer, Alex Ovechkin made it 1-0 early in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Lightning.

5. Ovechkin scores baseball-style goal to win Game 3 against Pittsburgh

With 1:07 left in regulation in Game 3 against Pittsburgh, Alex Ovechkin batted the puck out of mid-air to give the Caps a 4-3 win.

4. Devante Smith-Pelly's game-tying goal in Game 5 against Vegas

About halfway through the third with the Caps down 3-2 in Game 5 of the Cup Final, Devante Smith-Pelly put the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury while falling to tie things up against Vegas.

3. Lars Eller's double-OT winner in Game 3 against Columbus

In double overtime of Game 3 against Columbus, Lars Eller crashed the net and stuffed a Brett Connolly rebound past Sergei Bobrovsky to give the Caps the win, as well as tie the series 2-2.

2. Kuznetsov's breakaway OT winner in Game 6 against Pittsburgh

Alex Ovechkin got the puck up ice to Evgeny Kuznetsov, who again scored on a breakaway in overtime to clinch the series against Pittsburgh and finally exorcise Washington's second-round demons.

1. Eller’s Stanley Cup-clinching goal in Game 5 against Vegas

Lars Eller crashed the crease and pushed a loose puck behind Marc-Andre Fleury into a wide-open net to make it 4-3 late in the third period of Game 5 and secure the Caps’ first Stanley Cup championship.

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