Home Team in Caps
Tampa Bay 5, DETROIT 2 – series tied 3-3
WASHINGTON 2, NY Islanders 1 – WSH win series 4-3
KUZNETSOV NETS SERIES-CLINCHING GOAL IN GAME 7 TO LIFT CAPITALS INTO SECOND ROUND
Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the series-clinching goal with 7:18 remaining in the third period of Game 7 to power the Capitals into the Eastern Conference Second Round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* The Capitals improved to 4-9 in 13 all-time Game 7s. The victory was the club's first win in a Game 7 since April 25, 2012, at the Boston Bruins (2-1 OT W in CQF). The victory was also the second time in franchise history where the Capitals won a Game 7 in regulation. The other such instance was on April 28, 2009, vs. the New York Rangers (2-1 W in CQF).
* Kuznetsov's goal was his first career game-winning goal in the postseason. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Kuznetsov became the first rookie in franchise history to score a series-clinching goal in a Game 7. Elias also says the last time any rookie scored a series-clinching goal in a Game 7 was the New Jersey Devils' Adam Henrique on April 26, 2012, at the Florida Panthers (3-2 2OT W in the CQF).
* In fact, Elias says Kuznetsov was the first rookie in franchise history to score a game-winning goal in any series-clinching win. The last time any rookie scored a game-winner in a series-clinching win was thee Ottawa Senators' Cory Conacher on May 9, 2013, at the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5 of the CQF (6-1 W).
* Braden Holtby made 10 saves to improve to 3-3 in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 1.63 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage. Holtby also improved to 2-2 in four career Game 7 decisions.
* Joel Ward opened the scoring with 1:25 remaining in the second period. The goal was his first of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* Alex Ovechkin (0-1—1) earned his 33rd career playoff assist and passed Kevin Hatcher for sole possession of sixth on the franchise's all-time postseason assists list. Ovechkin has five points (2-3—5) in eight career Game 7s.
* Monday marked the second all-time Game 7 between the Capitals and the Islanders. On April 18, 1987, they played one of the most famous Game 7s in NHL postseason history, dubbed “The Easter Epic.” In that contest, which began on the Saturday before Easter and concluded at 1:58 a.m. local time, Pat LaFontaine scored at 8:47 of the fourth overtime period to lift the Islanders to a 3-2 win in what stands as the longest Game 7 in Stanley Cup Playoffs history. The Capitals and Islanders also played one other series that went the distance, in the 1985 Patrick Division Semifinals (a 3-2 best-of-five win by the Islanders).
* The Capitals will face the Rangers in the second round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Washington has played the Rangers eight times in the postseason, most recently in the 2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals (4-3 series loss).
* ICYMI: Members of the Washington Wizards were in attendance to show their support for the Capitals.
2015 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS BRACKET CHALLENGE
Among the more than 800,000 entries for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge powered by Samsung, 60% picked the Capitals to win their series against the Islanders – just 18.9% selected them to win in seven games.
JOHNSON, LIGHTNING FORCE GAME 7
Tyler Johnson scored twice to help the Tampa Bay Lightning stave off elimination against the Detroit Red Wings and force a Game 7.
* Johnson (2-0—2) opened the scoring at 3:47 of the first period and later scored the eventual game-winner for his third two-goal game of the series. Johnson's second goal was his second career game-winning goal in the postseason, each of which has been scored in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Johnson became the first player in franchise history to record three multigoal games in a single playoff series. Elias says the last time any player recorded three multigoal games in a single playoff series was when it occurred twice during the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Philadelphia's R.J. Umberger recorded three such performances vs. MTL in the CSF (4-1 series win), and Detroit's Johan Franzen also recorded three such performances vs. the Colorado Avalanche in the CSF (4-0 series win).
* In fact, Elias says only two other players in franchise history have recorded three multigoal games throughout the entirety of a single postseason. Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards each did so during the 2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs (23 GP each).
* Johnson is tied for the League lead in goals (six) in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* Elias says Johnson tied a single-series franchise record with six goals. Ruslan Fedotenko also scored six times from May 10-22, 2004, vs. the Philadelphia Flyers in the ECF (4-3 series win).
* Nikita Kucherov (0-3—3) had three assists for the first three-point game of his playoff career.
* Alex Killorn scored his second goal of the postseason after he picked up the puck off a turnover and beat goaltender Petr Mrazek on the backhand. Jason Garrison scored his first playoff goal in a Lightning uniform and the second postseason goal of his career. His other goal was on April 17, 2012, at NJD w/ FLA (4-3 W).
* Cedric Paquette scored a shorthanded goal into an empty net, which was also his first career postseason goal. Paquette became the ninth player in franchise history to score a shorthanded goal in the postseason.
* Ben Bishop made 22 saves to improve to 3-3 in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 2.18 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage. Game 6 marked the first time Bishop had ever faced elimination in his career.
* Tampa Bay improved to an all-time record of 7-6 in elimination games. The last time the Lightning trailed a series 3-2 and were on the road for Game 6 was against the Calgary Flames in the 2004 Stanley Cup Final. The Lightning defeated the Flames 3-2 in double overtime and eventually went on to win the Cup.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Lightning are 3-1 all-time in Game 7s, and the Red Wings are 14-10. Tampa Bay's last appearance in a Game 7 was on May 27, 2011, at BOS (1-0 L in ECF), and Detroit's last appearance in a Game 7 was on May 29, 2013, at the Chicago Blackhawks (2-1 OT L in CSF). The Lightning's last Game 7 victory was on April 27, 2011, at the Pittsburgh Penguins (1-0 W in CQF), and the Red Wings' last Game 7 victory was on May 12, 2013, at the Anaheim Ducks (3-2 W in CQF).
* ICYMI: Garrison was mic'd up when he scored his goal in the first period.
GAME 7 TRENDS
The Capitals and Islanders played the first Game 7 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Monday, and the Lightning and the Red Wings will square off in the second Game 7 of this year's postseason on Wednesday.
* Home teams hold an all-time record of 92-65 (.586) in Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but went 1-6 last year.
* The club that scores first in a Game 7 holds an all-time record of 116-41 (.739).
NHL ANNOUNCES NORRIS FINALISTS
Defensemen Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings, Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators and P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens are the three finalists for the 2014-15 James Norris Memorial Trophy, awarded “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position,” the NHL announced Monday.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association submitted ballots for the Norris Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 24, during the 2015 NHL Awards from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Click here for more information on each finalist.
Detroit forward Tomas Tatar (2-0—2) scored a power-play goal and at even strength for his first career multigoal playoff game... Detroit goaltender Petr Mrazek made 23 saves, including a stick save to rob Tampa Bay's Brian Boyle of a goal early in the second period... Washington defenseman Brooks Orpik (0-1—1) earned his first playoff point in a Capitals uniform... Washington coach Barry Trotz and Islanders coach Jack Capuano each coached his first career Game 7... Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves, including racing back to the net and robbing Washington's Jay Beagle with a pad save... Islanders forward Frans Nielsen scored his first career playoff goal... Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey (0-1—1) had his first career playoff point... The NHL announced that the start time of Game 7 of the series between the Lightning and the Red Wings has been set for 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 29, in Tampa... Marcel Pronovost, a Hockey Hall of Fame member who won the Stanley Cup five times as a player and three times as a scout, passed away on Sunday at 84 years of age... ICYMI: Click here for an all-access look at Sunday's playoff action... Click here to watch the #MyPlayoffsMoment video of Montreal fans celebrating their series-clinching win on Sunday... Click here to watch the #MyPlayoffsMoment video of Minnesota fans celebration their series-clinching win on Sunday.