Double OT disaster: Carolina wins Game 7 in Washington

These are no words that I was expecting to type tonight. Despite dominating the first two periods of play, the Washington Capitals were eliminated by the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 4-3, with Brock McGinn tipping in a Justin Williams pass in double overtime. We’ll do a full series review later this week, but let’s break down the decisive Game 7.

First Period

Washington scored first, after a fantastic individual effort by Andre Burakovsky, which saw him pickpocket a defender and roof the puck over Mrazek’s shoulder.

The scoring continued for Washington. Alex Ovechkin deked Dougie Hamilton out of his skates, curled around Jaccob Slavin, and sent a pass over to Tom Wilson on the doorstep to extend the Capitals lead to two.

Second Period

The Canes responded with a goal of their own. After playing a near perfect game, Washington’s power play turned the puck over and gave up a goal shorthanded. Sebastian Aho flipped the puck on net, and Holtby completely flubbed the save, pushing the puck back out in front of the net, and Aho made him pay.

The Caps responded with a goal of their own, with Evgeny Kuznetsov finding the goal column for the first time in the playoffs and beating Mrazek high blocker to restore the two goal lead.

Carolina was not done, however. Shortly after Washington’s third goal, Tuevo Teravainen beat Holtby in front of the net, winning a puck battle against John Carlson and snapping a puck past Holtby.

Third Period

Three minutes into the third period, Braden Holtby let in his second softie, allowing a Jordan Staal shot from the right boards to beat him blocker-side.

The Capitals had several chances to take the lead once more, coming within inches of a goal, but the Canes defense stood tall.

First Overtime

The Canes dominated play in this period, getting the first seven shots on goal. They had the legs, but Holtby and the defense were up to the task. Ovechkin had a shot to end it near the end of the period, but his shot ricocheted off of Petr Mrazek’s mask.

Second Overtime

The Capitals went to the power play, and instead of doing anything productive, opting instead to not put a single shot on net.

Minutes later, Tom Wilson failed to clear the puck, and Carolina dumped it back down. Justin Williams, from the half-wall, fired a pass across the net mouth, which Brock McGinn tipped in to clinch the series for Carolina.

Final Quick Thoughts of the year…

  1. Washington had chances to win this game. In the immediate aftermath, I can not help but put a lot of the blame on Braden Holtby. Through a period and a half of play, Washington was all over Carolina. Then he mishandled a shot, and overplayed the rebound, giving Carolina life. The third goal by Staal needed to be stopped.
  2. The second line sans, Jakub Vrana, finally showed up, and it was nice.
  3. The officiating in this series was a complete dumpster fire. Typing this gets me angry, but I counted FIVE…FIVE blatantly missed calls against Carolina. I will be the first to say that officiating should not be a focal point of criticism following a Game 7 loss, but the lack of any whistles in this game played a huge role. A referee not calling penalties can have just as much of an impact as calling too many.
  4. Well, friends… this is the end of a season that started out with so much promise. There are going to be a lot of changes happening to this team between now and October. We will write about that later. Congratulations to the Carolina Hurricanes for a gritty series win that no one had predicted.

Austen Adcock

Freelance writer, alumni of the University of Mississippi, hockey and baseball connoisseur

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