Capitals beat Penguins in OT to advance to conference finals
PITTSBURGH (AP) Evgeny Kuznetsov’s breakway goal 5:27 into overtime gave the Washington Capitals a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 on Monday night, and a berth in the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in 20 years.
Kuznetsov took a lead pass from Alexander Ovechkin and tucked the puck by Matt Murray to end Pittsburgh’s two-year reign as Stanley Cup champions and propel the Capitals into the NHL’s final four for just the third time in franchise history.
Braden Holtby stopped 21 shots for the Capitals, who will face Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference finals. Alex Chiasson scored his first playoff goal in four years during a taut, tight contest through regulation.
Kris Letang scored for the Penguins and Murray finished with 28 saves but couldn’t close his legs fast enough to stop Kuznetsov’s forehand flick from in close as Pittsburgh’s bid at becoming the first team in 35 years to win three consecutive Cups came to an abrupt end.
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) – Filip Forsberg had two goals and an assist, Pekka Rinne stopped 34 shots for his second shutout of the playoffs, and Nashville forced a decisive Game 7 in its Western Conference semifinal series with Winnipeg.
Game 7 is Thursday at Nashville, Tennessee, with the winner advancing to face the expansion Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference final.
This back-and-forth series has yet to see a team win consecutive games.