How the Capitals Got That Stanley: Moment Number 5

Chris Russell
June 18, 2018 - 7:57 pm

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports


Our countdown of the "Great 8" moments on the road to the Stanley Cup continues.

Today we look back on how the Capitals finally exorcised their second-round/Pittsburgh demons.

Number 5

On one play, in one glorious moment, Evgeny Kuznetsov accomplished many things. He sent the Pittsburgh Penguins home, he lifted the Caps over the second-round mountain and gave new meaning to the "bird" celebration, as Washington dethroned the two-time defending champions, in overtime, in their building.

Kuzy's game-winner came after a dominant end to Game 5 by the Caps in Washington, and they never really let up in Game 6 in the Steel City.

They showed a steely determination to not allow the series to get to a winner-take-all Game 7, which had been a recurring nightmare for the Caps in years past. They were hellbent on getting a few extra days's rest before starting the Eastern Conference Final in Tampa, and that plan worked to perfection.

The Caps were also motivated to prove to the hockey world, once and for all, that they were the better team by beating the Penguins at their own game. Transition. Time and time again in this series, they counter-punched Pittsburgh in the face with odd-man breaks and found frequent success.

One more nugget: Alex Chiasson scored the Caps' first goal of the game, assisted by Australian-born Nathan Walker. Chiasson played in only four of the seven games against Tampa, and not at all in the Stanley Cup Final, yet played a huge contributing role in punching the Caps a ticket.

Walker only played in that one game, yet made a big contribution as well.

The Countdown

Moment 8

Moment 7

Moment 6

Moment 5

Moment 4

Moment 3

Moment 2

Moment 1

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