Ward's OT winner sends Caps past Bruins in Game 7Apr 26, 2012 - 4:15 AM
Joel Ward's goal 2:57 into overtime gave Washington a 2-1 win over Boston in Game 7 of this Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
Mike Knuble blocked a Benoit Pouliot dump-in and brought the puck into the Boston end down the left wing. He crashed the net and got a backhand off that Tim Thomas stopped. The puck, though, came back out and Ward was there to backhand the rebound in for the win and series victory.
Boston came into this series as the defending Cup champions and the second seed in the Eastern Conference after winning the Northeast Division, but were unable to advance in its quest to become the first repeat champs since the Red Wings won the Cup in 1997 and 1998.
Much of Washington's success can be contributed to goaltender Braden Holtby, who made 31 saves on Wednesday to help the Capitals advance to the conference semifinals. In his first-ever playoff series, Holtby posted a 2.00 goals against average along with a .940 save percentage.
"He's a unique kid and nothing fazes him," said Washington head coach Dale Hunter about Holtby. "He's a warrior out there and that's the best thing I can say about him."
Matt Hendricks scored the other goal of the game for Washington, which awaits the results of Thursday's games to see who it will play in the next round.
"This is what hockey is all about, winning in overtime in the seventh game," said Hunter. "This was a big character game and I'm real happy for all my guys."
Tyler Seguin, the hero of Sunday's Game 6 overtime win, scored the lone goal of the game for the Bruins, who had won three Game 7s last season, including a series clincher against Vancouver in the Cup finals en route to their sixth championship in club history.
Thomas, who won both the Conn Smythe and Vezina trophies last season, made 25 saves in the game.
"This team overcame a lot of difficult obstacles this season and we should keep our heads high," said Boston captain Zdeno Chara. "We should be proud of ourselves and what we've accomplished here."
Every game in this series was decided by just one goal, marking the first time in NHL history that seven straight playoff games have ended in one-goal margins.
The Capitals got on the board at the 11:23 mark of the first. Milan Lucic tried to bring the puck out of his zone along the boards, but lost it and Jason Chimera grabbed it. A pass back to the right point saw John Carlson fire a wrister on net that Hendricks re-directed past Thomas.
The second period saw Boston tie the game with 5:33 to play. A slap shot at the left point from Andrew Ference was stopped by Holtby, but he kicked the rebound out to the right point where Johnny Boychuk one-timed it on net. Holtby made the save, but it trickled behind him and Seguin swept it in before it could be knocked away.
The third period passed scoreless with Thomas making 12 saves and Holtby six. Boston was awarded a power play with 2:26 to play after Chimera was called for holding, but the man advantage was ineffective in applying any pressure and the teams skated to overtime.
This was the 32nd time in the history of the NHL playoffs that a Game 7 had gone to overtime...The Bruins have lost three of the five Game 7 overtimes in team history...Washington has split four Game 7 overtime results...Boston was the second straight Cup champion to be knocked out in the first round. Chicago, which won the Cup in 2010, was knocked out by Vancouver last season in the quarterfinals...Hunter became head coach of the Capitals earlier in the season after Bruce Boudreau was fired.
- KingHockeyMan I hope Cam Neely reviews Head-coach Claude Julien . A lot of people just do not understand why i say that. I have posted quite a few reason(s) why I never really was totally behind Julien. He is a master at re-building a team. Any hockey team for that matter. He is a master at it. He'd be the 1st man I'd hire to rebuild a team. After that, he'd would NOT be behind the bench but traveling the world over sustaining my teams high level 'consistent high level. To me & others, Julien is so predictable coaching. There is NO vision as far as "creativity". He is a defensive master that over relishes that aspect of the game. One can see the "stalemate coaching ways" of Claude Julien". Cam Neely get a creative coach & let Julien go up to the front office sustaining a continuous a rebuilding manor for the future & beyond. Hde is so predictable with no creativity. PEACE OUT! Dave
Capitals 2, Bruins 1 Final - OTApr 25 11:30 PM
- WASHINGTON: 2
Final - OT
Apr 25 10:26 PM
- WASHINGTON: 1
End of 2nd
Apr 25 10:05 PM
- WASHINGTON: 1
End of 1st
Apr 25 9:12 PM
- WASHINGTON: 1
2nd Period - 3:48
Capitals 1, Bruins 1 2nd - 3:48Apr 25 9:04 PM
- Washington Goal - Nicklas Backstrom (2), at 14:27.
Capitals 2, Bruins 0 2nd - 5:33Apr 25 9:00 PM
- Washington Goal - John Carlson, from Jason Chimera at 11:23.
Capitals 1, Bruins 0 1st - 8:37Apr 25 8:04 PM
- WASHINGTON: 0
1st Period - 20:00
Apr 25 7:42 PM
- KingHockeyMan I am 1st of all a HOCKEY FREAK. 50+ yrs &: still going strong. Waited 39 yrs for that damn Cup in June 2012. Now for all teams in ANY sport winning 1 champion is good. But to 2peat is better and is a REAL CHAMPION". But a 3peat? A 4peat? Now that is A Champions CHAMPION! GO BRUINS!!!
Capitals vs. BruinsApr 25 9:28 AM
- Andy Lee The reason why I didn't shout during the playoffs before was that I was uneasy about it, since it might've jinxed my favorite team which is the Boston Bruins. But now since it comes down to Game 7 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Quarterfinals held in TD Garden home of the Bruins I knew right away the Bruins needed my support. So what I would like to say is thanks to the whole Boston organization for making this happen. Also whether the Bruins win or not I will still continue to love them and cheer until I die. I <3 you Bruins!!!!! Best of luck to both teams since I know they'll do their best. LETS GO BRUINS!!!!!!!!
Capitals vs. BruinsApr 25 5:43 AM
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