A look back at the Capitals' 2018 Stanley Cup win in Las Vegas on the two-year anniversary

Rob Carlin
NBC Sports Washington

I am often told how lucky I am to do what I do.

"Man, being a sportscaster. That's my dream job." I hear it all the time. Don't get me wrong: For the most part, they're right. But, it's not without some big sacrifices.

I work nights. I work holidays. I work weekends. That means I've had to miss happy hours, Memorial Day pool parties, even weddings. The title of Marv Albert's book summed it up: "I'd love to … But I have a game."

But the night of June 7, 2018 - that night I was truly lucky. It was the best night of my professional career. When Devante Smith-Pelly scored to tie the game, it felt like destiny. When Lars Eller scored, I could feel the hair on my arms stand up.

When Alan May hugged his kids and swelled up with tears as the finals seconds ticked off the clock, I felt the pressure build in my lungs and chest.

I was going to be broadcasting back to D.C. the GREATEST PARTY in Capitals history. My voice was going to be narrating some of the signature moments in franchise history as the Caps skated with the Stanley Cup.

It truly was a dream come true. It's a responsibility I don't take lightly. I am part of some fans' nightly Caps experience. And this was collectively the greatest experience of our lives. A night thousands, I'm sure, have watched over and over.

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We were on the air for what felt like an eternity. And, yet, it also flew by in the blink of an eye. It was so much fun. Fans that made the trip to Vegas swarmed our set. It was a party that swelled organically. Nothing was planned. We were also watching the incredible scene in D.C. wishing, if only for a moment, that we could physically be in two places at once.

I was able to rush down to the ice before the team left and stood inches from Alex Ovechkin as he raised the Cup and kissed it. I was a few feet away when he raised it one final time, screaming, "Thank you, Vegas" before heading back to the locker room for the party. 

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I walked by Ovi's side as he led a thunderous group of players, friends, family and fans through the casino floor of the MGM Grand. I was right there as he held the Cup up above his head & bellowed out, "Yeaaaaahhhhhh!!" as the wave of humanity passed the Poker Room.

I was lucky enough to find my way inside Hakkasan Nightclub at the MGM as the party raged deep into the night. There are some stories that will have to stay a secret as well as some stories where the details get a little fuzzy! You understand.

I'm like you. I hope the Caps win the Cup again this year. And a few more times before Ovi and Nick Backstrom hang up the skates. But nothing will ever quite be like the first time. I was lucky to be a part of it. And it's a memory I'll keep for the rest of my life.

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A look back at the Capitals' 2018 Stanley Cup win in Las Vegas on the two-year anniversary originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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