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Pittsburgh at Washington - Game 7
After solid defensive play the Captials banked the puck off the left-side boards to a streaking Ovechkin. Rob Scuderi misread the play and the pass caught No. 8 behind the Penguins' defense. Ovechkin made a plethora of moves but was unable to get it past Marc-Andre Fleury who performed a little "left-handed-larceny.".
Fleury's stoning of Ovechkin kept the Penguins from falling behind early in a hostile environment. The save kept the momentum even and instead of getting the home crowd rolling it inspired the Penguins.
On the ensuing Penguins power play, Sergei Gonchar walked the puck along the blueline and took an off-balance shot that was clearly headed wide. As the puck caromed past Tom Poti in front, it managed to hit Sidney Crosby's skate at the doorstep of the net. Crosby gained control of the puck and then quickly banged it into the empty net to give the Pens a 1-0 lead.
Then, just eight seconds later, Pittsburgh extended the gap right from the center ice faceoff thanks to an unlikely source. The Capitals defense tried to make something happen with aggressive play, leaving no support behind them. Fourth liner Craig Adams, playing in his 42nd playoff game, got a cross-ice pass from Ruslan Fedotenko and fired the puck on net, beating Simeon Varlamov five hole again.
Adams' first career playoff goal coupled with Crosby's power play marker shocked the Verizon Center and sent the Capitals reeling, while showing that the Penguins were ready for this Game 7.
Sidney Crosby carried the puck across the Capitals blue line. He slowed down along the boards and dropped a pass to Bill Guerin, who was cruising into the zone at the top of the right circle. Guerin released a heavy one-timer that beat Simeon Varlamov five-hole to give Pittsburgh a 3-0 lead.
This is exactly what the Penguins had to do, come out exactly how they did in the first period. This goal stunned the Capitals and their fans, as the Penguins grabbed a commanding three-goal lead.
After a pass from Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang crossed the blue line, teed up a shot from the top of the right circle and fired a shot that beat Varlamov short side high. That sent Varlamov to the bench and extended the Penguins' lead to 4-0.
The fourth Pittsburgh goal was a total downer for the Capitals faithful. It really buried a demoralized Washington team, and cemented a stellar, dominant performance by the playoff-savvy Penguins .
This perfect tic-tac-toe play gave Detroit a spark as they trailed, 2-1, with just 2:25 remaining in the game.
Whole shorthanded, Alex Ovechkin was inside the Pittsburgh zone trying to keep the puck contained when he got tangled up with Miroslav Satan and the puck came loose. Sidney Crosby seized the opportunity for a clean breakaway, and skated untouched through both blue lines before wristing the puck past Jose Theodore, who had replaced Simeon Varlamov after Pittsburgh's fourth goal.
While the Caps would score one more goal in the third period, the Penguins would retain a four-goal lead and take Game 7 and their semifinal series with the Capitals to move on to the Eastern Conference Final.
FINAL SCORE: Penguins 6, Capitals 2