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AT the same time as Ben Simmons and Joe Ingles have been making headlines in the NBA playoffs, another Aussie is creating waves in a possible championship run in the US.

Nathan Walker became the first Australian to play in the NHL when his debuted for the Washington Capitals earlier in the season.

Now the 24-year-old has added a new chapter to his breakthrough season, helping eliminate the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions, Pittsburgh Penguins, from the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The left winger didn’t waste any time making his presence felt in his first playoff game, providing the assist on the game’s opening goal.

Walker showed his speed to win the puck ahead of two Penguins defenders, rounded the net and Alex Chiasson one-timed his perfect pass past goaltender Matt Murray.

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NHL expansion, Seattle NHL team, 32nd franchise, NHL realignment, SuperSonics

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Seattle is getting a National Hockey League team. It will just have to wait a little bit longer to drop the puck.

The NHL Board of Governors unanimously approved adding Seattle as the league’s 32nd franchise on Tuesday, with play set to begin in 2021 instead of 2020 to allow enough time for arena renovations.

The as-yet unnamed franchise will be the Emerald City’s first major winter sports team since the NBA’s SuperSonics left town in 2008.

“Today is a day for celebration in a great city that adores and avidly supports its sports teams and for our 101-year-old sports league,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said.

“Expanding to Seattle makes the National Hockey League more balanced, even more whole and even more vibrant. A team in Seattle evens the number of teams in our two conferences, brings our geographic footprint into greater equilibrium and creates instant new rivalries out west, particularly between Seattle and Vancouver.”

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Stanley Cup: Washington Capitals defeat Las Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 to win first title

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AFTER 43 seasons, the Washington Capitals are finally sitting on top of hockey.

Lars Eller broke a tie with 7:37 to play, and the Capitals raised the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history after a 4-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 on Thursday night.

Devante Smith-Pelly tied it with a full-stretch goal midway through the final period of the Capitals’ fourth consecutive victory over the Golden Knights, whose incredible expansion season finally ended in the desert.

So did the Capitals’ agonizing wait for their first championship since the franchise’s debut in 1974. After so many years of postseason flops and crushing disappointment, these Capitals won their fourth consecutive closeout game with a tenacious third-period comeback.

Captain Alex Ovechkin, who scored an early power-play goal and was the playoff MVP, and his teammates are Washington’s first championship hockey team – and the city’s first champion in a major pro sport since the Redskins won the Super Bowl in early 1992.

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Stanley Cup 2018: Vegas Golden Knights are greatest story in sport

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THE Vegas Golden Knights have moved within sight of making National Hockey League history, completing a 4-1 series victory over the Winnipeg Jets to become the first expansion team in 50 years to reach the Stanley Cup Finals in their debut season.

A deflected goal in the second period from Ryan Reaves clinched a 2-1 victory for the Knights, who were written off as 500/1 no-hopers before the start of season but who could now become the first expansion team ever to win the Stanley Cup at the first attempt.

Barely a year ago the team’s roster had not been assembled, and the franchise compiled their squad from players who had mostly been overlooked or discarded by other franchises.

The hodgepodge nature of the team has led to players from the franchise cheerfully referring to themselves as the “Golden Misfits”, but they have hardly put a foot wrong through their debut campaign, which began just a week after a mass hooting on the Las Vegas Strip that left 58 people dead.



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