For the first time in 20 years, the Washington Capitals are going to the Conference Finals.
Evgeny Kuznetsov scored on a breakaway 5:27 into overtime to give the Capitals the victory and eliminate the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of their second-round playoff series.
With the score tied 1-1 in the extra period, Alex Ovechkin recovered a loose puck from Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby and sent Kuznetsov in on a breakaway. The Russian forward made a slick move to the forehand a tucked a shot between the legs of goaltender Matt Murray to eliminate the Penguins:
Sidney Crosby turns it over, Alex Ovechkin sets up Evgeny Kuznetsov to send the Capitals to the Eastern Conference Final pic.twitter.com/8f2rKFsdK7
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) May 8, 2018
Kuznetsov did his famous “Birds of Prey” celebration following the biggest goal of his career:
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) May 8, 2018
The Capitals will be making their third appearance in the Conference Final. The last time they made it in 1998, they defeated the Buffalo Sabres in six games before getting swept by the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Final. They also made it in 1990, losing to the Bruins in four games.
The Capitals will face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2018 Eastern Conference Final. The Bolts defeated the Boston Bruins 3-1 in Game 5 on Sunday to end their second round Stanley Cup Playoff series. Game 1 will be at Amalie Arena.