Caps drop Pens in OT to advance to conference finals
09 May, 2018, 01:15 | Author: Lora Ball
"It's always thrown in your face everywhere you turn". "I think everybody took a step forward for (us tonight)". Kris Letang scored the only Penguins goal of the game.
The Capitals advanced to the Eastern Conference finals for only the third time since the franchise's inception in 1974 with a 2-1 overtime victory in Game 6 against Pittsburgh on Monday night, a victory secured by Evgeny Kuznetsov's breakaway 5:27 into the extra period.
Ovechkin & Co. won't exactly get eased into their maiden voyage in the third round, as the Tampa Bay Lightning stand as a fresh, formidable opponent. "We look forward", Ovechkin said Monday morning. "Thank God this happened".
The Capitals battle the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. They faced elimination in the first round against Anaheim in 2016 but came back to advance, triumphing in the crucible of Game 7 for the first time in franchise history in the process. He won Game 3 in Pittsburgh with a goal with 1:07 left in regulation. Defenseman Victor Hedman is a finalist for the Norris Trophy after he scored 17 goals with 46 assists in 77 games. Ovechkin has been the heart and soul of the Capitals this whole season and his entire career for that matter, and it showed in this series. He's not a passenger in this run to the conference finals, but a driver.
The Capitals' 2-1 overtime win also denied Pittsburgh a shot at a championship three-peat, as Sidney Crosby's club had won the previous two Stanley Cups - after knocking out Washington in the second round in both postseasons. This wasn't simply a historic win for the Capitals in the Ovechkin Era, but an emotionally charged comeuppance against their archrivals. I only focus game by game. "So our future remains bright and now we just have to focus on the third round". It ended up being the Capitals as the Penguins just allowed far too many odd-man rushes at even strength. They managed to eliminate Pittsburgh on the road in overtime, after giving up the lead. All the teams are really good. Like the fact that so many young players in the Game 6 lineup - which was missing the injured Nicklas Backstrom and Andre Burakovsky, and the suspended Tom Wilson - had never been a part of this rivalry's lowest moments.
"It's pretty simple, we win we keep playing", Nashville forward Filip Forsberg said. "But right now we still got a lot of work to do".
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