Published: Wed, May 09, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Penguins Season Ends With Heartbreaking Game 6 OT Loss To Capitals

Penguins Season Ends With Heartbreaking Game 6 OT Loss To Capitals

Maybe it was in.

The Pittsburgh Penguins faced an important matchup with the Washington Capitals on Monday night in hopes of saving their playoff series. We have to earn it.

"It's nearly embarrassing that it's taken this long for us to get past it", Washington owner Ted Leonsis said.

Evgeny Kuznetsov's overtime goal gave the Capitals a 2-1 win over the Penguins on the road.

Alex Ovechkin started the game-winning play by pushing the puck forward through the neutral zone and springing Kuznetsov, who then raced in alone and beat Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray. Many thought the Penguins owned him. Nathan Walker got the primary assist in his first National Hockey League playoff game on a quick pass from behind the goal.

"They won the game in the first period", Hornqvist said.

"I have lots of big games", Ovechkin said, asked if this was another big moment in his career which, Ovechkin astutely pointed out, has been full of them. "But some of the other guys were trying but they just got pushed around in there".

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After blowing three two-goal leads through the first seven games of the playoffs, Washington at least temporarily solved that problem. Ovechkin had just recorded a primary assist on the game-winning goal in Russia's 3-0 victory against Finland in 2016.

All the way back in February when the Ottawa Senators were expected to sell half their roster they opted to trade Derick Brassard to the Pittsburgh Penguins. "We learned from that this time around". Superstar Nikita Kucherov, a 39-goal scorer and 100-point player during the regular season, was held without a point until Game 4, but his team-high 32 shot attempts in the series - 15 of those scoring chances - showed he wasn't just standing idly by. He made 18 of his 28 saves in the first period and had to in order to keep Washington from turning this into a blowout. With some good health and a continued ability to define age curves, Ovechkin could (though it remains unlikely) catch Wayne Gretzky and finish as the NHL's most accomplished goal scorer.

"Pretty disappointed", Murray said. "Just go out there and lay it out there and see how it goes". Dumoulin never returned, could potentially miss Game 3 tomorrow and Wilson is in danger of being suspended.

"You look at the last couple of games, it's a one-shot difference", Crosby said. Pittsburgh has gone on to win the Stanley Cup five times and had to beat Washington each time.

Wilson watched multiple replays and came away believing there was nothing else he could do on the play because Dumoulin stopped and braced for a hit from Ovechkin at the last second.

The Penguins, by contrast, have been impossible to finish off since head coach Mike Sullivan took over in December 2015.

"It's a bit of an unfortunate play that he got hurt", he said.

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