Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup celebration in photos

Alex Ovechkin kisses the Stanley Cup after his Washington Capitals defeated the Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final. (AP Photo/John Locher)

For the first time in their 43-year history the Washington Capitals are Stanley Cup champions.

The celebration that followed had smiles, tears and hugs, but not a lot of words. It’s the top of the mountain, the biggest achievement to get as a pro hockey player, so it is usually hard to describe in the moment.

Good thing pictures say 1,000 words.

So as the Capitals ground away the dying seconds of Game 5 to beat Vegas 4-3 and claim the championship, let’s take a look at how Stanley Cup elation — and disappointment — looked up close.

Members of Washington Capitals celebrate after defeating the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in Game 5 to win the Stanley Cup. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

For as many celebratory pictures as we’ll see, there’s another side to the story. Despite a fairytale season that ended just three wins short of the ultimate prize, Vegas’ loss was crushing to the players who put so much into the year.

Vegas Golden Knights winger David Perron skates away as the Capitals celebrate their Stanley Cup-clinching win. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

Alex Tuch, right, consoles teammate Erik Haula following the Game 5 loss. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)

On top of winning his first Stanley Cup, Alex Ovechkin won his first Conn Smythe Trophy after leading the playoffs with 15 goals in 24 games.

Alex Ovechkin holds up his Conn Smythe Trophy after claiming playoff MVP honours. (John Locher/AP)

The moment everyone was waiting for came when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who was indeed booed as he entered the ice, handed Capitals captain Ovechkin the Stanley Cup. The look on Ovechkin’s face is priceless.

Gary Bettman hands Alex Ovechkin the Stanley Cup — the first in the Washington Capitals’ history. (AP Photo/John Locher)

And the first player he handed it to? Nicklas Backstrom, who spent 10 seasons with Ovechkin before they finally reached the peak.

Alex Ovechkin hands the Stanley Cup to longtime teammate Nicklas Backstrom. (John Locher/AP)

T.J Oshie celebrates with teammate Shane Gersich after claiming the championship. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)

And it wasn’t just a celebration for the players on the ice, but for the fans back home, too.

A Capitals fan holds a sign in the streets outside Capital One Arena in Washington. (Nick Wass/AP)

Capitals fans celebrate in the streets outside Capital One Arena after their team claimed its first championship. (Nick Wass/AP)

No player enjoys the Stanley Cup alone, as it’s a moment to share with close friends and family…

Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, right, kisses his daughter Belle during the post-game celebration. (John Locher/AP)

“2018 Stanley Cup Champions,” Belle Holtby’s flag reads — which these guys will be forever.

The Washington Capitals, Stanley Cup champions. (John Locher/AP)

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