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'Quest for the Stanley Cup' turns into celebration

Go behind scenes with Capitals, Golden Knights after series clinchers in second episode on ESPN+

by Cristina Ledra @Cledra / NHL.com Staff Writer

There's a whole lot of celebrating in the second episode of "Quest for the Stanley Cup," with four teams earning spots in the conference finals.

Though the Tampa Bay Lightning became the first to clinch a spot in the conference finals, the episode also gives an up-close look at the grind the Winnipeg Jets, Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals went through to get past the second round.

After losing the first game of the Eastern Conference Second Round to the Boston Bruins, the Lightning won four in a row to win the series. In Game 5, microphones pick up the officials remarking about the pressure the Bruins brought to start the game. After the game, Lightning coach Jon Cooper relays a huge compliment to his players paid to them by Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy in the handshake line.

Those are just a couple of snippets of the exclusive access fans get in "Quest for the Stanley Cup," which follows the remaining teams vying for the most prized trophy in sports.

The behind-the-scenes documentary series airs exclusively on ESPN+ in the United States and on YouTube.com/NHL in Canada. The seven-episode series goes on the ice, into the locker rooms, inside the minds of the players and coaches and everywhere in between to give viewers an all-access pass during the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the pursuit of the Stanley Cup -- the hardest trophy to win in professional sports.

Hours after Tampa Bay eliminates Boston, the Golden Knights continue their spectacular (and unexpected) inaugural season by finishing off the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Second Round. As viewers saw in the first episode, the Vegas dressing room can get a little rowdy -- and the room is no less spirited after the Golden Knights clinch the series.

But perhaps the most jubilant room belongs to the Capitals, who knock off their longtime rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins, in dramatic fashion. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov scores the overtime winner in Game 6 to eliminate the Penguins, and you might want to turn down the volume as mics pick up the moment he's buried by his teammates in celebration.

In the outburst that comes from the room after the handshake line, you can feel a sense of relief as the Capitals get the better of the Penguins in a playoff series for the first time since 1994.

There's still a long way to go for the four teams remaining in the playoffs, and "Quest for the Stanley Cup" cameras are there to catch the action you can't miss.

In addition to "Quest For The Stanley Cup," ESPN+ is providing NHL fans with a chance to catch up on any of the action they missed from previous games or series with on-demand replays of every NHL game throughout the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Games are available on demand via ESPN+ after their live airing and remain available throughout the playoffs. ESPN+ is also the exclusive home to "In the Crease," a new nightly hockey show co-hosted by ESPN's Linda Cohn and Barry Melrose. Each night of the playoffs, "In the Crease" brings viewers comprehensive highlights and analysis of each game, plus interviews with top players and coaches from around the league, ESPN.com NHL writers and guest appearances from SportsCenter anchors Steve Levy and John Buccigross. A new episode posts each night after the action on the ice is complete for fans to watch when they want, on demand.

Fans can follow the conversation via the official hashtag #StanleyCup.

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