Stanley Cup: Washington Capitals beat Tampa Bay Lightning to reach final
Washington Capitals will play Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL's Stanley Cup final after a dominant deciding-game victory over Tampa Bay Lightning.
Andre Burakovsky found the net twice in a 4-0 win as Washington took the best-of-seven Eastern Conference final 4-3.
Alex Ovechkin scored after just 62 seconds to set his side on course for a first Stanley Cup final in 20 years.
"It's unbelievable," said Ovechkin, 32, who has reached the final for the first time. "I can't explain my emotions."
Ovechkin was described as a "beast" by Capitals coach Barry Trotz and his early finish took his season tally to 49, the highest in the NHL.
"We're really happy but we're not finished, not done yet," Ovechkin added. "We've been waiting for this moment for a long time."
Ovechkin also praised goaltender Braden Holtby, stating the Canadian was "unstoppable" as he became only the fifth goalie in NHL play-off history to register shutouts in games six and seven, making 60 saves across the two matches.
Nicklas Backstrom completed the scoring for the Capitals, who begin their seven-game final on Monday in Las Vegas.
Priced at 500-1 to win the Stanley Cup at the start of the campaign, the Knights became the first expansion team in 50 years to reach the Stanley Cup finals in their first season.