Playoff Performer of the Night | Devante Smith-Pelly
Devante Smith-Pelly scored the biggest goal of his NHL career to help him and the Washington Capitals to their first-ever Stanley Cup Championship in a 4-3 victory in Thursday night's Game 5.
Most of us have woken from a dream in which we were falling. Devante Smith-Pelly, however, achieved his dream by falling as he scored the game-tying goal in a 4-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights Thursday for the Washington Capitals to go on to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
''I've been dreaming about it since I was a little kid,'' Smith-Pelly said postgame donning a 2018 Stanley Cup Champion hat. ''The team, with so much change, you didn't know what to expect. We knew we could do something special, and we did.''
With the Caps trailing 3-2 to start the third period, the Scarborough, Ontario native shifted the momentum of the game off a pass from teammate Brooks Orpik, who kept the play alive at the blue line. While falling to the ice, Smith-Pelly corralled the puck off his skate and to his stick to slide it past Vegas netminder Marc-Andre Fleury.
Only 2:31 later, Lars Eller scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal to give the Caps their first championship since the club joined the NHL in 1974-75.
Chalk it up to lucky number seven? After scoring the game-winning goal in Game 4 of the series, Smith-Pelly scored his seventh goal and eighth point of the postseason. It was his third straight game scoring a goal, and though it was a big one, a different moment will forever be engrained in the 25-year-old's mind.
Asked Devante Smith-Pelly for one small moment that he will always remember from last night.— Alex Prewitt (@alex_prewitt) June 8, 2018
"When Ovi first grabbed the Cup. His face. He’s been through a lot. Worked so hard. To see him finally get it, that’s a snapshot for sure."