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Alexander Ovechkin Wins 2018 ESPYs Award for Best Male Athlete

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2018

FILE - In this June 7, 2018, file photo, Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, of Russia, hoists the Stanley Cup after the Capitals defeated the Golden Knights in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals, in Las Vegas. The past 10 years, Ovechkin went into the offseason facing questions about not being able to win and criticism of not being able to get it done. He is now a playoff MVP and Stanley Cup winner and his epic Stanley Cup celebration will stretch well into the summer. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
John Locher/Associated Press

Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin won the 2018 ESPYs Award for Best Male Athlete on Wednesday.

ESPN @espn

It took 13 seasons, but @ovi8 finally took home the Stanley Cup and this year's Best Male Athlete Award! #ESPYS https://t.co/9e1bxDcDzW

He beat out 2017 American League MVP Jose Altuve, 2017 NFL MVP Tom Brady and 2017-18 NBA MVP James Harden.

Ovechkin had yet another terrific season, piling up 49 goals, 38 assists and 87 total points while leading Washington to the Metropolitan Division crown.

And while his regular-season numbers make him a worthy candidate, it's what he did during the postseason that put him over the top. The Capitals captain earned the Conn Smythe Trophy by netting a career-high 15 goals, 12 assists and 27 points while leading his team to its first-ever Stanley Cup title.

The path to the Cup was far from easy, though. Washington had to overcome a 2-0 hole against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round, overcome the archrival Pittsburgh Penguins in the next, beat the top seed in the East in the conference final and end Marc-Andre Fleury and the Vegas Golden Knights' Cinderella story in the final.

The 2017-18 season allowed Ovechkin to add the elusive championship to his resume. Now, the summer of Ovi continues with this latest accolade.

Ovechkin is the first NHL player to win the ESPY for Best Male Athlete. He snaps a dominant eight-year run by the NBA, and hockey becomes the eighth sport to produce a winner.

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