Analysis | Washington Capitals’ bid for back-to-back Stanley Cups ends in double overtime against the Carolina HurricanesGame 7 Carolina Hurricanes win, 4-3 • Game recap: Washington ran out of gas in its Stanley Cup defense. Read more • Statistical stars: It wasn't a pretty win for Carolina, but it was a win all the same. Read more • Game highlights: The moment-by-moment account of how Washington's Stanley Cup defense came to an end. Read more • Postgame reading: A look back at the see-saw series.
Read moreFinal score: Hurricanes 4, Capitals 3 (2OT)Capitals run out of gas, lose in double overtimeBy Isabelle KhurshudyanThe Washington Capitals stayed seated on their bench, waiting for the Carolina Hurricanes to finish celebrating. Some players had their heads down, looking away. Others watched with pained expressions. That was them back in June, when they dogpiled before hoisting the Stanley Cup above their heads one by one. This season was dedicated to doing it all over again.
At the end, the Capitals waited for the Hurricanes to leave the ice before they raised their sticks in a final salute to their fans. A long summer was ahead. “It’s over, ” Ovechkin said. “It’s hard, especially after last year, but nothing you can do right now, right? ”Statistical stars1. Brock McGinn: game-winning goal plus an assist, four shot attempts including two scoring chances2. Teuvo Teravainen: goal, team-highs for shot attempts (nine) and high-danger chances (three)3. Jaccob Slavin: Nine shot attempts and two scoring chances, including one rebound attemptThis wasn’t the prettiest win, but now that the dust is settled it’s easy to pick out a few bright spots for the Hurricanes. First and foremost, Carolina dominated at even strength for most of the series, generating shots from all over the ice. Their top line of Teuvo Teravainen, Sebastian Aho, Nino Niederreiter was particularly troublesome for Washington, and will certainly test the defense of their upcoming opponent, the New York Islanders, who allowed the fewest goals from the scoring chance area this season.
Washington started to turn the tide around the midway mark of overtime but Chandler Stephenson has the only shot on goal of the extra frame to this point. Washington has long preached it values shot quality over shot quantity, but this doesn’t seem to be what the Capitals meant with that ethos. Holtby on point early: Braden Holtby has not had his best game in Game 7, but in two chances in the first two-and-a-half minutes he’s saved Washington from defeat, once on a redirection in the first minute of overtime and a pair at the 2:11 mark off shots from Nino Niederreiter and Teuvo Teravainen at point-blank range.
The Capitals made their ambitions for this season known with “back-to-back” chants that forward T. J. Oshie led at the team’s championship parade in June. As Washington took a 3-0 lead in the first period of the first game of this series, fans at Capital One Arena cheered those words again, with the Capitals appearing well in control of that game and the series. But unlike last postseason, when the team won 10 of its 13 road games, Washington couldn’t win in the Hurricanes’ PNC Arena, and Carolina carried the momentum from its 5-2 Game 6 win Monday into Wednesday’s Game 7. Throughout the series, the Hurricanes’ forecheck gave the Capitals fits coming out of its own zone, and the inability to solve that ultimately decided it. Injuries to top-four defenseman Michal Kempny (torn hamstring) and Oshie (broken collarbone in Game 4) hurt Washington, but that can’t be used as an excuse when Carolina was without two top-six forwards Andrei Svechnikov and Micheal Ferland for most of the series.
But Washington would need to shoot the puck for that to happen, and the Capitals looked gassed for the majority of overtime. They let the Hurricanes get nine shots on goal before tallying one. Goaltender Braden Holtby, who looked shaky in the second and third periods, delivered with 11 stops, the only reason Washington lasted as long as it did. Ovechkin had the best chance of the first extra frame, a one-timer with 1:48 remaining, but it bounced off Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek’s mask, causing it to pop off.
In the meantime, Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour summed up his team’s performance by saying his team was “playing like crap right now, " before his team was able to whittle the Capitals’ lead to a mere goal heading into the third period. Hurricanes won’t go away, make it 3-2: While Carolina kept the puck in the Washington zone, Sebastian Aho lifted the stick of Evgeny Kuznetsov off the ice, allowing it to reach Teuvo Teravainen, whose quick release beat Capitals netminder Braden Holtby from the slot to again narrow the margin to a single goal. It’s clear the Hurricanes are not going to back down with just over 22 minutes remaining in regulation for Game 7. Oshie chants are back: Caps fans will apparently never forget the injury to T.
The final flourish before the whistle with 5:13 left in regulation included a bouncing puck just in front of the crease of Braden Holtby, which surely made every Washington fan hold their breath before the whistle blew it dead for a much needed respite and commercial break. Jordan Staal ties it in third for Hurricanes: One of the most veteran Hurricanes players has knotted the game three minutes into the third period as Jordan Staal barreled down the right side of the ice and then wristed home a shot into the far side of the net against Braden Holtby who appeared to be well off his line.
Carolina Coach Rod Brind’Amor has to be unhappy with what he’s seen from his energy line of Warren Foegele, Lucas Wallmark and Jordan Martinook. Those three have been outshot 15 to 5 with two goals against in less than 10 minutes of action. — Neil GreenbergBrock McGinn saves the game for Carolina and game heads to OT: A shot from Tom Wilson leaked through the pads of Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek and was flirting with the goal line but no other Capitals player could tap it home before McGinn could dive and clear it away with 2:22 remaining and now we’re heading to overtime.
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End of third period: Capitals 3, Hurricanes 3 | Silver lining for Capitals as OT looms: As we head into overtime it is worth noting Washington is tilting the ice in their favor, one of the few times in the series that’s been the case. The Capitals lead in even-strength shot attempts (39 to 24), scoring chances (19 to 15) and opportunities in the slot or crease (8 to 4). Alex Ovechkin leads all skaters with six shot attempts (three scoring chances) and has arguably played his best game in a few years. The third line of Andre Burakovsky, Lars Eller and Brett Connolly also continues to shine, outshooting Carolina 12 to 6 through 10 minutes of ice time in addition to scoring the first goal of the game.
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For Washington, it’s the first misstep in an otherwise strong game. Jordan Martinook just used up all his slack: Nick Jensen pinched down to help the Capitals maintain possession just over the midway mark in the second period and was taken down along the end boards by Jordan Martinook who had already earned the officials’ attention after his work on Brooks Orpik and Orpik’s ensuing complaints. The referee called the penalty from mid-ice to give Washington a power play. Jordan Martinook slams down Brooks Orpik from behind: An NBCSN replay showed Jordan Martinook, who put the hit on Andre Burakovsky that slammed him into Trevor va Riemsdyk’s leg, chasing down Brooks Orpik from behind, wrapping his arm around his upper body and pulling him backwards, which resulted in Orpik’s head slamming into the ice. The play went uncalled by the officials, but sent Orpik to the bench in some discomfort.
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Hurricanes vs. Capitals - PNC Arena The Hockey Teams Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes played 85 Games up to today. In this Games the Teams made a average of 5.6 Goals per
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The game is tied and now the true test begins for a Washington team that has struggled throughout its franchise history in Game 7s. The crowd is much quieter now. Well, um, buckle up: Evgeny Kuznetsov, missing for most of the playoffs, finally scored, giving him his first goal of the 2019 playoffs. He should have scored earlier in the first period: second-chance attempts like the one he had in the first frame light the lamp almost a third of the time league-wide, per Moneypuck’s shot quality data. That’s been one of the few bright spots for Washington’s second line.
Ovechkin stood there, his head hanging back in frustration. For all that he has accomplished, he has never scored an overtime game-winner in the playoffs. “Obviously, this group of guys has been in different positions — hard times, good times — and we never said, ‘It was his mistake’ or it was somebody’s mistake, ” Ovechkin said. “It was our mistake. We didn’t execute. We didn’t sometimes play the right way. ”The Capitals had gotten lucky when the referees missed a delay-of-game penalty on Brett Connolly after he sailed the puck over the glass in the first overtime. The Hurricanes were then whistled for that same infraction 2:02 into the second overtime. Then 48 seconds into the man-advantage, Coach Todd Reirden called for a timeout to buy his top power-play unit some rest and keep it on the ice. But for a third time in the game, the power play was a source of lament rather than strength, with some boos coming down from the stands.
At 1:48, nearly Ovi: Nicklas Backstrom’s board play nearly won the game for Washington and gave Alex Ovechkin his first-ever playoff overtime winner, but Petr Mrazek’s mask kept it out, and then exploded off the goalie’s head. Brett Connolly, Capitals narrowly evade devastating penalty: No one seems to like the puck-out-of-play penalty, but based on NBCSN replays, the Hurricanes probably deserved one when Connolly sent a puck out of play from (just) inside the Caps’ blue line at 12:20 of overtime. This might be a penalty. — Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) April 25, 2019 Canes dominate start of OT: Carolina recorded the first eight shots of overtime, but Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby proved equal to the challenge.
Oshie, as fans have resumed chanting his name in the waning stages of the second period. Spotted... Evgeny Kuznetsov: Just as the Canes closed the gap, the Capitals’ leading point producer from last season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs found the back of the net at the 13:22 mark, as Evgeny Kuznetsov scored on an odd-man rush and then gave an abbreviated birdman celebration as Washington reclaimed its two-goal cushion. Aho closes the gap for Carolina: Sebastian Aho, arguably Carolina’s most-gifted offensive player, has given the Hurricanes some life midway through the second with a shorthanded goal. Aho threw the puck on Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, who could not control it, and Aho potted the rebound under Holtby’s pads to narrow the margin to 2-1 in favor of the Capitals.
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