Caps end Penguins' hex, win series in OT

Aaron Brown
May 9, 2018

This has been the mindset of a Capitals team that showed more fortitude than it had in previous postseasons. Though Murray played well, he let in some soft goals that cost the Penguins the series.

- The Tampa Bay Lightning will play the Washington Capitals after the team eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins Monday night.

With the drought finally over, takes a look back at the past playoff series between the two clubs. Readers of the Washington Post's website were issued the following instructions: "Evgeny Kuznetsov's overtime goal: Watch it, listen to it, never forget it".

"The Capitals can't win with Ovechkin"; "Ovechkin can't perform in the clutch"; "Where does Washington go from here?" . At one point, the high-danger chances in game five were 20-3 in favor of the Penguins.

Lars Eller took Backstrom's spot on the second line. Oshie recorded 13 points. In Wilson's three games on the top-line he chipped in for four assists while also setting the tone with his physicality.

The series shifts to Washington for games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Thursday.

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April 19, 2018; Columbus, OH, USA; Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (70) makes a save under his blocker against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third period in game four of the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena.

There will be a new Stanley Cup Champion in 2018. Play continued. And a few minutes later Kuznetsov's goal joined Dale Hunter's overtime Game 7 victor vs. Philadelphia in the first round in 1988 and Joe Juneau's poke by Dominik Hasek vs. Buffalo in the Eastern Conference finals in 1998 in franchise lore.

Of course, that game and that moment should not define Ovechkin, who has a career that stands on its own, with accomplishments and accolades that frame him as one of the best players of all time - something that not even a lack of team success can deprive him of. The Eastern Conference final will feature one of the NHL's biggest and heaviest teams (the Capitals) against one of the smallest and lightest (the Lightning). Center Sidney Crosby, 30, is signed through 2024-25. Crosby patted Ovechkin in the chest several times as to say well done.

For Ovechkin, the win over the Penguins continues perhaps the best postseason of his career. Then the Pittsburgh second-round matchup occurred. The Penguins' streak of road playoff victories ended at six. Potentially, they will have a tough ask playing against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"Nobody expected we were going to be in this position before this season, in this game and in this playoffs", he said. This series will come down to goaltending and whether or not Holtby will be able to out-duel Vezina Trophy finalist, Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Capitals won 4-3. Nathan Walker got the primary assist in his first National Hockey League playoff game on a quick pass from behind the goal.

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