Saturday morning, the Washington Capitals fan base came out in force to give a proper sendoff to the 2018 Eastern Conference Champions.
According to the team, 6,000 fans packed Kettler Capitals Iceplex to watch the first practice before the Stanley Cup Final, which will pit Washington against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin got a roaring ovation from the crowd when he first went took to the ice. The squad took to the Arlington Rink first before concluding practice on their own ice. Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis roamed the practice facility he helped build and gave away free merch to fans.
After practice ended and the Capitals showered up, players walked through a roped off area on top of the parking deck. A wall of Capitals supporters gathered in the oppressive heat to salute the players and give them high fives. The Caps gave out rally towels and t-shirts. Some players wore suits. Lars Eller wore jorts.
But in the end, the sendoff was another watershed moment for the hockey community in this area.
Photos by Chris Gordon. Ian Oland contributed to this article.
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