When a team gets rewarded for its hard work and dedication, it just seems like all is right. Any longtime Caps fan knows that there have been times in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when their favorite cub hasnt tasted victory when maybe it deserved a better fate. The Bruins battled their butts off against the Caps in this series, but the team that left TD Garden ice victorious Wednesday night deserved to be celebrating.
Its incredible to think that every game in this remarkable series was decided by one goal. Even harder to fathom was that the winning goal came in the 59th minute of regulation or later a staggering six times.
This was the first best-of-seven postseason series for the Caps to ever require four trips to overtime, which simply put can provide some of the most exhilarating moments in sports.
Washington was ready to face a hostile crowd in Boston and Bruins fans did not disappoint. They had the joint jumping 60 minutes before the opening faceoff.
The Caps stayed to their gameplan incredibly well in this series and would not deviate in the opening period. They were clogging up the neutral zone, never really allowing the Bruins to generate any speed on their attack.
The visitors would grab a 1-0 lead thanks to a brilliant tip-in from Matt Hendricks. Hendricks showed tremendous heart and hustle over these past two weeks, and he was in the right place to re-direct a John Carlson wrist shot past Tim Thomas.
Boston would answer back in the second period. Johnny Boychuk hammered a point drive that snuck through Braden Holtby. The puck was lying in the crease for a split second, Holtby swatted at it but missed, and it would be Tyler Seguin who knocked it across the goal-line an instant before two defenders converged upon him.
The teams played a scoreless third period, but not without a few late heart palpitations for the Caps. Jason Chimera was whistled for a holding penalty with a little more than two minutes remaining in regulation.
Holtby and his penalty killers blocked every shot in sight to get the club through to overtime. The rookie goalie was dynamite in this series.
It would not take long for the Capitals to dethrone the champion Bruins. Mike Knuble got up a head of steam and raced down the left wing boards, his initial backhand stopped by Thomas. It would be Joel Ward trailing the play, who buried the puck with a quickly-released backhand of his own to trigger a jubilant celebration for the Caps.
Earlier in the day Ward, called this the biggest game of his life, and he came through with flying colors!
The Capitals will wait until tomorrow to see who their semifinal round opponent will be. If the Rangers beat the Senators, the Caps will head for New York. If the Rangers lose and Florida wins over New Jersey, the Caps will head to Philadelphia. And lastly, if Florida loses and New York loses, the Caps will have a date with the Devils.
Thanks to all of you for watching us on Comcast SportsNet this season. This game is the last we can televise at the regional sports network level. Please do enjoy the rest of the Cup run on the family of networks of NBC-Universal.
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