WASHINGTON -- Breaking news: Ovie's retiring after the Stanley Cup Final!
No, not Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin.
Ovie the Bulldog, whose age now matches the Ovechkin jersey he wears: 8. He moved from the Washington area to San Diego four years ago, and although he came back for the Final, this will be his last long trip.
The Capitals and the Vegas Golden Knights are tied 1-1 in the best-of-7 series entering Game 3 at Capital One Arena on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).
[RELATED: Complete Golden Knights vs. Capitals series coverage]
"This is, like, his retirement ride," said his owner, Mike Robertson, wearing an Ovechkin No. 8 T-shirt outside Capital One Arena on Friday. "He's 8 now. He gets stressed on drives. So there was no better way for him to make this final drive than to come for the Cup."
Robertson is originally from New Jersey, but grew up a Capitals fan and moved to the Washington area in 1997, just in time for them to make the Final in 1998. He had tickets to Game 6, but the Detroit Red Wings swept the series.
"We've just been waiting ever since," Robertson said.
Robertson used to bring Ovie to games in Washington to hang out outside the arena. Ovie would greet fans, take pictures and be a very good boy, then go home.
Video: Breaking down Ovechkin's first two games of Cup Final
After moving from Rockville, Maryland, to San Diego, they went to Capitals road games against the Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Los Angeles Kings and Vegas Golden Knights. They drove back to Washington for the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the Capitals and the Chicago Blackhawks at Nationals Park.
Ovie has more than 5,000 Twitter followers @OvietheBulldog. His bio: "I'm a bulldog! I sleep, eat, & snore all day long. Go Caps! I've moved to SoCal … to spread my love of Capitals Hockey!" He has more than 2,000 Instagram followers @oviethebulldog, too.
But this trip took four days and 2,700 miles. They stopped in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Springfield, Missouri; Columbus, Ohio; and finally Rockville. They went to the watch party for Game 2 at Capital One Arena on Wednesday and will go to Game 3, and Game 4 here on Monday, then drive back to California.
Who'd win a tussle? Ovie the Bulldog or Bark-Andre Furry, the 10-year-old Jack Russell terrier inspired by Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury?
"[Ovie's] not really a fighter these days," Robertson said, smiling. "Bark-Andre Furry has the speed and the quickness. [Ovie's] definitely got the size and the weight to him. If he could hit Bark, then maybe. But quite honestly, Bark looks like he's spry. So [Bark-Andre] would probably tire him out, and he'd lay down."
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