Several survivors of the Capital Gazette shooting got to spend some time with the Stanley Cup on Tuesday ... thanks to the Washington Capitals equipment manager.
The story is heartbreaking ... Capitals staffer Craig Leydig had just finished a phone interview with the newspaper on June 28 -- and, minutes later, a gunman stormed the place and opened fire, killing 5 people.
Leydig -- an Annapolis resident -- was devastated and wanted to do something to help.
Since every Washington Capitals player and staffer gets a day with the Cup, Leydig decided to use his 24 hours to bring Lord Stanley's hardware to the Gazette's temporary office to help cheer up the staff.
The staff got to spend roughly 45 minutes with the trophy -- and Gazette reporter Rick Hutzell says it's something he'll remember for the rest of his life.
"We want to thank Craig for coming in with the Stanley Cup. It was clearly a big morale boost for everyone, particularly the hockey fans in the newsroom."
"The number of selfies that came out of this was huge and will be treasured forever."