Published: Wed, May 09, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Capitals end Penguins Stanley Cup reign

Capitals end Penguins Stanley Cup reign

With the Penguins acquiring Ian Cole it was expected that the Penguins would make another deep playoff run. But the most risky thing for this team and this fan base to do would be to be satisfied that just because they've finally vanquished the Penguins, the job is done and they can all go home happy this summer.

Monday night after winning Game Six in overtime 2-1, the Washington Capitals shook hands with the Pittsburgh Penguins and participated in the greatest tradition in sports. Ovi has led the NHL in scoring since he entered the league in 2005-06 with 661 goals in 1,112 games.

The stakes led to an unusually slow start for both before the Capitals broke through 2:13 into the second when Walker held off Pittsburgh's Derick Brassard behind the Pittsburgh net and fed Chiasson in the right circle. Twice the Capitals rallied in the third period to stun Pittsburgh, including a four-goal outburst in Game 5 that pushed them to the brink of their first Eastern Conference finals appearance in 20 years.

This has been the mindset of a Capitals team that showed more fortitude than it had in previous postseasons. Now, the Capitals record improves to 2-9 against the Penguins in the playoffs.

In case you were wondering, the Caps went 1-2 against the Lightning in the regular season, although one of those losses was in overtime. They will meet up with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the East finals, the second meeting between these clubs in the Ovechkin era.

"We battled throughout and we worked hard", Capitals star Alex Ovechkin told reporters.

Ovechkin has 15 points in 12 games for the Capitals. However, this time Ovechkin stepped up mightly for his team in this series. Everyone only had one question in mind, and it was centered around yet another matchup between Ovechkin and his foil, Sidney Crosby.

The 20-year Eastern Conference Finals drought for the Washington Capitals franchise is no more. Prior the playoffs beginning, Holtby was struggling and relegated to the backup. But when they needed him to be great, Holtby answered the bell. That's a testament to how well the Capitals played.

It was not an easy road for the Capitals. Having to work until the very end to win the division helped Washington in the playoffs. You can see everybody blocking shots, everybody play defensively.

"Obviously everyone knows the difficulties we had getting out of the second round", Holtby said. That is why they worked so hard to close the series out Monday night.

NOTES: The Capitals have now killed 22 consecutive penalties dating to Game 2 of their first-round series against Columbus. Maybe the Penguins were worn out playing their 16th playoff series over the past six years, sandwiched around 82-game regular seasons and trips to tournaments like the World Cup.

And just please leave those Ovechkin jokes, the ones with the punchlines about the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, in the past. The third round isn't the Stanley cup. Those numbers are usually good enough to win. Mainly the depth scoring outplayed the depth scoring of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Penguins tied it on a Kris Letang goal with 8:08 left in the second period. They have an average age of 27.5 years old, which is just slightly older than the average team in that category.

Matt Murray had his ups and downs in this series and finished the playoffs overall with a.908 save percentage. Though Murray played well, he let in some soft goals that cost the Penguins the series.

The schedule is set for the Eastern Conference Finals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals.

The games in the series were mostly even throughout.

-Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, and Jordan Eberle of the New York Islanders are shining for Canada at the World Championships.

-Now with the Bruins eliminated from the playoffs, the Rangers have won both trades with the Bruins.

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