When Alex Ovechkin came up clutch in Pittsburgh many Washington Capitals fans knew this series could be different.
A call went in the favor of the Washington Capitals the previous game. How would the Caps take this momentum in the next game? Their team captain Alex Ovechkin had a third period goal for the ages and shifted the momentum on Washington’s side.
The first period was scoreless but the Caps got a late power play that would serve them well the next period after Evgeni Malkin was called for tripping. 48 seconds into the second period John Carlson blasted one from the point to put the Caps up 1-0. Nicklas Backstrom and Ovechkin had the helpers.
The Penguins would snatch momentum right back with a game tying goal from Jake Guentzel at 4:33. They went to the power play after Brooks Orpik was called for hooking and took the lead on a goal from Patric Hornqvist.
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The Penguins regained the lead at 16:27 with a goal from Sidney Crosby for his eighth of the playoffs. 3-2 Penguins was the score after two periods.
Then with 1:07 left and overtime looming Backstrom came down the ice, fed the puck to Ovechkin and with the game on his stick followed his shot as Murray dove ahead of his net with the puck going off the post. The puck trickling mid-air from the post gets batted down by Ovechkin’s stick as he skates right towards the boards at some displeasured Penguins fans.
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In years past that loose puck is never there. It goes off the post past the net. Murray makes that save. Or overtime happens. Not that spring of 2018 as the Caps got another impressive win over the Penguins and each win that round got better and better.
“I hit the post, and it’s a good thing I didn’t raise my arms up. I finished up the play and got lucky. It’s a huge, huge goal. Obviously for our team, you know we want to win tonight and we did. It doesn’t matter what, it doesn’t matter who scored. We sacrifice, we play hard and we have to do the same moving forward.”
The Capitals continued to do that and grinded their way to a historic series win over their bitter rivals and it was games like that which would go down in the history books.