Eller then fired the rebound into the vacated net. They also have history on their side in that only one National Hockey League team has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in the Cup Final and won, and it hasn't happened for 76 years.
The team has had more than its share of playoff misery, a seemingly unending series of bad puck luck, hot goaltenders and failed potential that has stymied their playoff expectations year after year.
If anything, it's a testament to Washington's depth Ovechkin didn't need to single-handedly carry the team to the Stanley Cup.
Ovechkin was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy, honoring the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup playoffs. He scored a goal in the second period of Game 5 giving him 15 in the playoffs which passed John Druce for the most in Capitals' history.
Getty Braden Holtby can slam the door on Vegas in Game 5.
The Golden Knights wrap up a storybook year, advancing all the way to the final in their first year of existence.
Vrana opened the scoring when he broke in alone off a nice outlet pass by Tom Wilson and fired a shot over Fleury's glove for his third goal of the playoffs.
Washington challenged for goalie interference, but the call on the ice stood before Smith gave the home side a 3-2 lead.
Facing elimination for the first time in their history, the Knights tied it at 9:40 when Schmidt's point shot deflected off the skate of Washington defenceman defenceman Matt Niskanen in front for his third.
Forwards (12): Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, William Carrier, Cody Eakin, Erik Haula, William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault, James Neal, Tomas Nosek, David Perron, Reilly Smith, Tomas Tatar and Alex Tuch. Vegas put up a fight every minute, Smith-Pelly's and Eller's goals took away the possibility of a Game 6.