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game recap

Hurricanes rally to defeat Capitals in 2OT in Game 7

Eliminate defending champions with McGinn's goal at 11:05; will play Islanders in second round

by Harvey Valentine / NHL.com Correspondent

McGinn wins series in double OT

CAR@WSH, Gm7: McGinn scores in 2OT to win series

R1, Gm7: Brock McGinn deflects the puck by Braden Holtby in double overtime to win the series for the Hurricanes

  • 01:07 •

WASHINGTON -- Brock McGinn scored 11:05 into the second overtime, and the Carolina Hurricanes rallied to eliminate the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals with a 4-3 win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Capital One Arena on Wednesday.

The Hurricanes, who trailed 2-0 and 3-1 in this game and 2-0 in the best-of-7 series, advanced to the second round for the first time since 2009 and will play the New York Islanders.

"We got some huge goals by some big players, huge saves by Petr [Mrazek] when we needed them, a huge goal by Jordan [Staal] to start the third period," Carolina captain Justin Williams said. "We didn't give up. When it was 2-0, we told ourselves we wouldn't let it snowball like we did in the other games. We regrouped and stayed with it."

 

[WATCH: Hurricanes vs. Capitals Game 7 highlightsComplete series coverage]

 

McGinn deflected a pass from Williams past goalie Braden Holtby after the Hurricanes lost a face-off in the Capitals zone but regained the puck.

"It's just a screen shot out of the corner," said Holtby, who made 38 saves. "Not sure if it was off the ice or not. I don't know. It's just one of those plays that are hard to the front and you have to work for it."

Video: Clutch Performance: McGinn saves the Hurricanes

Carolina killed a Washington power play after Saku Maenalanen was called for delay of game at 2:02 of the second overtime.

McGinn prevented a Capitals goal with 2:21 remaining in the third period by diving headfirst across the crease to deflect the puck with his stick.

"I think it's just a reaction there," he said. "I saw it kind of squeak through Petr there a bit. I don't know if it had enough steam to cross the line, but I don't think I was taking that chance."

Washington led 3-2 entering the third, but Staal tied it 3-3 with a wrist shot from the right face-off circle at 2:56.

"It's tough," Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin said. "Obviously, we thought the first two periods we dominate. A couple lucky bounces and they're in the game. But it was a great series, lots of toughness, lots of hard plays over there."

Video: CAR@WSH, Gm7: Staal pots snap shot to tie it in 3rd

It was the first win by a road team in the series.

Andre Burakovsky gave Washington a 1-0 lead at 2:13 of the first period. He got to the puck along the right boards, skated toward the slot, avoided sliding defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk, and scored with a high shot past Mrazek, who made 34 saves.

It was Burakovsky's first Stanley Cup Playoff goal since he scored two in Game 7 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Tom Wilson made it 2-0 at 6:23. Ovechkin, after a spin move to elude Carolina defenseman Dougie Hamilton at the blue line, used a toe-drag to get by defenseman Jaccob Slavin in the right circle and passed across the slot to Wilson.

Sebastian Aho cut the Capitals lead to 2-1 at 9:51 of the second period when he knocked in his own rebound for a shorthanded goal after Holtby failed to glove the puck.

Video: CAR@WSH, Gm7: Aho sneaks wrister past Holtby for SHG

"It's 2-0, they get a power play. If they score, it's done," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "Then we get the shorthanded (goal), and I think it just perked everybody up. 'Hey, we're still in the game.' And then we got better as we went along."

Evgeny Kuznetsov made it 3-1 with a wrist shot from the slot on a 3-on-1 rush at 13:22, but Tuevo Teravainen scored on a spinning shot in front at 16:37 of the second to pull the Hurricanes to within 3-2.

"Looking back at that, we need to find a way to shut them down there or keep them out of the score sheet there when we got a 3-1 lead," Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom said.

Video: Dunkin' NHL Comebacks: Hurricanes stun Capitals

 

They said it

"In overtime, it looked like we were going and we were making plays and we had a lot of chances. I thought for a minute … it was one of those where you get all the action, and they go down and put one in. I think we deserved that (win)." -- Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour

"We became relevant again this year, and this is just another step. It's wide open for us. It's wide open for every team. There's eight left, and we're going to keep pushing to see how good we can be." -- Hurricanes captain Justin Williams

"They played a very aggressive game, and it's not easy. It's not easy. We didn't expect it to be easy, and we're certainly disappointed by the outcome." -- Capitals coach Todd Reirden

Video: #ThirstForTheCup: Carolina advances to Second Round

 

Need to know

It was the fifth consecutive Game 7 win for the Hurricanes dating to the 2006 Eastern Conference Final (4-2 win against Buffalo Sabres), the fourth-longest such run in NHL history. They have not lost a Game 7 since relocating from Hartford for the 1997-98 season. … With three assists in Game 7, Slavin finished the series with nine, breaking John Cullen's Carolina/Hartford Whalers record for assists in a playoff series. Cullen had seven in the 1991 Adams Division Semifinals against the Boston Bruins. … The Capitals are 5-12 in Game 7, including 3-9 at home. … Backstrom and Ovechkin each played his 12th Game 7, tied for fourth in NHL history behind Patrick Roy, Scott Stevens and Zdeno Chara (13 each). Backstrom and Ovechkin fell to 4-8.

Video: Hurricanes oust defending champion Capitals in seven

 

What's next

Hurricanes: At New York Islanders in Game 1 of Eastern Conference Second Round on Friday (Barclays Center; 7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)

Capitals: Season over

Video: Hurricanes rally, top Capitals in 2OT in Game 7

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