Cap­i­tals beat Is­lan­ders with 7 min­utes to go to ad­vance to 2nd round of NHL play­offs

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Rookie Rus­sian for­ward Evgeny Kuznetsov skated around ev­ery op­po­nent on the ice, putting Wash­ing­ton ahead with less than 7 1/2 min­utes left in Game 7 Mon­day as the Cap­i­tals beat the New York Is­lan­ders 2-1 to ad­vance to the sec­ond round of the NHL play­offs.

Kuznetsov scored the sort of ath­letic, breath­tak­ing goal his bet­ter-known team­mate, Alex Ovechkin, of­ten does, tak­ing the puck from the right boards and head­ing across the ice be­fore send­ing a ris­ing shot over sprawl­ing goalie Jaroslav Halak.

Joel Ward gave Wash­ing­ton a 1-0 lead late in the sec­ond pe­riod, and Frans Nielsen pulled New York even early in the third. Braden Holtby only needed to make 10 saves.

The Cap­i­tals now face the Pres­i­dents’ Tro­phy-win­ning New York Rangers, who elim­i­nated Wash­ing­ton from the 2012 and 2013 play­offs — in Game 7 each time.

The Is­lan­ders’ loss ends their play­ing days at Nas­sau Coli­seum, which opened in 1972. The team is mov­ing to Brook­lyn next sea­son.

This was the first Game 7 of this year’s NHL play­offs and it was a fit­ting con­clu­sion to this par­tic­u­lar matchup. Through the first six games, each team scored 14 goals. Each won on the road. Each won in over­time. And dur­ing the regular sea­son, both fin­ished with 101 stand­ings points, and three of their four head-to-head meet­ings went to over­time.

Wash­ing­ton, though, con­trolled Mon­day’s ac­tion, out­shoot­ing New York 26-11.

In Detroit, Tyler John­son scored two goals in his lat­est stel­lar per­for­mance as the Tampa Bay Light­ning held on for a 5-2 victory over the Red Wings, forc­ing a Game 7 in their first-round play­off se­ries.

John­son and Ja­son Gar­ri­son scored in the first pe­riod, and John­son added an­other goal in the sec­ond to give the Light­ning a 3-0 lead. To­mas Tatar scored twice for Detroit, but Alex Kil­lorn an­swered with an unas­sisted goal with 5:09 re­main­ing, and Cedric Pa­que­tte added an emp­tynet­ter.

Ben Bishop made 22 saves for the Light­ning, who led the NHL in goals dur­ing the sea­son but had been strug­gling to score on the Red Wings and goalie Petr Mrazek in this se­ries. Mrazek made a sen­sa­tional save on Brian Boyle in the sec­ond pe­riod, but Tampa Bay had al­ready taken a 2-0 lead by that point.

AP

The Detroit Red Wings and the Tampa Bay Light­ning push each other be­hind the Red Wings net dur­ing the sec­ond pe­riod of Game 6 of a first-round NHL Stan­ley Cup hockey play­off se­ries, in Detroit on Mon­day, April 27.

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