Fans turn out in droves to celebrate Cup-champion Capitals

Parade and rally midway between the U.S. Capitol, Washington Monument commemorated first D.C. title

Hundreds of thousands of fans lined Constitution Avenue and filled the National Mall on Tuesday to celebrate the Washington Capitals’ first Stanley Cup championship.

The parade and rally midway between the U.S. Capitol and Washington Monument commemorated the first D.C. title in the major four professional sports since the Redskins in 1992 and the first Cup in the Capitals’ 44-year history.

Fans clad in red were 20 deep on either side of Constitution chanting “Let’s Go Caps!” as more than three dozen buses and convertibles made the trip along the mile-long route.

Conn Smythe Trophy-winning Alex Ovechkin, alternate captains Nicklas Backstrom and Brooks Orpik, owner Ted Leonsis and team president Dick Patrick took up the most prominent place in the parade on the last bus with the Stanley Cup. Chants of “Ovi! Ovi!” alternated with pleas of “Raise the Cup!” which Ovechkin, Backstrom and Orpik did for hours while sipping from beer bottles.

At the rally, winger T.J. Oshie led fans to chant, “back-to-back,” and Ovechkin and his teammates sang Queen’s “We Are The Champions” on stage to wrap up one of the biggest sports celebrations in the history of the nation’s capital.

Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press

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