May 8 (UPI) — Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the game-winning goal, helping the Washington Capitals eliminate the Pittsburgh Penguins from the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The score came in overtime of the Capitals’ 2-1 win in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference clash Monday at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa.
“We battled throughout and we worked hard,” Capitals star Alex Ovechkin told reporters. “Obviously we knew we had to take this opportunity and get a win. Great job by everybody.”
Pittsburgh and Washington played an even three periods, prompting extra time in the series decider. Sidney Crosby turned the puck over to Ovechkin to set up the play of the game. Ovechkin skated over the blue line on the Caps’ defensive end before threading a short pass up to Kuznetsov at the other blue line.
The Caps’ 25-year-old center alternated the puck from left to right before crossing it in front of Pens goaltender Matt Murray. He then slid it through Murray’s legs, beating him glove side and sending the Caps to the Eastern Conference finals.
Washington started the scoring on Monday, when Alex Chiasson lit the lamp 2:13 into the second period. Kris Letang netted the Penguins’ only score of regulation, beating Braden Holtby 9:39 later in the period.
“It’s not a great feeling obviously,” Crosby said. “It was a close series and overtime could have went either way tonight. But they got a big goal there.”
The Capitals battle the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. The NHL has not revealed game time specifics.