Sports

Washington is a win from ending 26-year wait. Which of these title-starved cities is next?

Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin, left, and Washington Capitals forward Jakub Vrana, right, celebrate one of their team's goals against the Vegas Golden Knights during the third period in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday, June 4, 2018, in Washington.
Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin, left, and Washington Capitals forward Jakub Vrana, right, celebrate one of their team's goals against the Vegas Golden Knights during the third period in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday, June 4, 2018, in Washington. AP

Washington is one win from celebrating a championship for the first time since the Redskins defeated the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl on Jan. 26, 1992.

The city's 26-year wait is near its end after the Washington Capitals beat the Las Vegas Golden Knights 6-2 Monday night to a take a 3-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Final. Washington is tied with Minneapolis for the longest championship drought by a city with at least three of the four major sports franchises in North America.

The Twins defeated the Atlanta Braves on Oct. 27, 1991, so technically Minneapolis' drought contains 91 days more of anguish than Washington's. Those two cities took the reigns from Cleveland, which ended its 52-year title drought when LeBron James and Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals.

If the Capitals win Thursday and raise the Cup in Vegas, which cities are next in line to carry the unfortunate burden of being North America's most title-starved town in major pro sports?

5. Tampa Bay

Last championship: Lightning defeated the Calgary Flames in Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Final

Best postseason appearances since then

Lightning: Lost in 2015 Stanley Cup Final to the Chicago Blackhawks

Rays: Lost in 2008 World Series to the Philadelphia Phillies

Buccaneers: NFC wild-card game eliminations in 2005 and 2007

4. Phoenix metropolitan area

Last championship: Diamondbacks defeated the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series

Best postseason appearances since then

Diamondbacks: National League Division Series eliminations in 2002, 2007, 2011 and 2017

Coyotes: Lost in 2012 Western Conference finals

Suns: Western Conference finals eliminations in 2005, 2006 and 2010

Cardinals: Lost in 2009 Super Bowl to the Pittsburgh Steelers

3. Atlanta metropolitan area

Last championship: Braves defeated the Cleveland Indians in Game 6 of the 1995 World Series.

Best postseason appearances since then

Braves: World Series defeats in 1996 and 1999, both to the New York Yankees

Thrashers (before Winnipeg relocation): Lost in 2007 Eastern Conference quarterfinals

Hawks: Eastern Conference finals elimination in 2015

Falcons: Super Bowl defeats to the Denver Broncos in 1999 and New England Patriots in 2017

2. Toronto

Last championship: Blue Jays defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series

Best postseason appearances since then

Blue Jays: American League Championship Series eliminations in 2015 and 2016

Maple Leafs: Eastern Conference finals eliminations in 1994, 1999 and 2002

Raptors: Lost in 2016 Eastern Conference finals

1. Minneapolis

Last championship: Twins defeated the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series

Best postseason appearances since then

Twins: Lost in 2002 American League Championship Series

Wild: Lost in 2003 Western Conference finals

Timberwolves: Lost in 2004 Western Conference finals

Vikings: NFC Championship eliminations in 1998, 2000, 2009 and 2017

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